It’s just over 2 weeks into the latest round of buying nothing new. And, consumer cravings aside, it’s going pretty well.
I’ve run out of a few previously essential grooming products (eye make-up remover, hairspray, dry shampoo) and instead of replacing, I’ve decided to forego.
What we deem as essential is subjective. A safety crutch, a prop, products sold to us to help us conform to beauty norms, created so we buy the things they want to sell. Quick fixes so we can try to look as flawless as possible. I want to find a way around depending on these. I want to let go this year. I want to love me, not the image of me I think I should be. And as small as it seems, letting go of the little things, one at a time, is helping me along the way.
Another reason I’m not replacing many toiletries is ethical. I’m becoming more and more inspired by reusing, by reducing waste, by looking into less harmful alternatives to our everyday products. And so, do I need to spray glue on my hair and discard yet another pressurised aerosol can? Do I need to wipe my eyes with a cocktail of ingredients derived from goodness knows where, to remove yet another cocktail of ingredients with the same dubious history? Do I need to create more waste from products that are sold as cheap, discardable ‘essentials’? How is this helping me to look after my small bit of the world?
Back in 2012, my first foray into buying nothing new was a test, I suppose. A challenge to see if I, the retailers dream, could stick it out and succeed in buying nothing. I did, and I learnt a lot along the way.
This time round, I’m building on those seeds of inspiration I unearthed 3 years ago, and instead of seeing this year as a time of deprivation, I see it as a huge, year-long opportunity.
An opportunity to remove the ‘fluff’ and focus on what is important to me. To try out new ideas and see what sticks. To make more of an impact on my little corner of the world, to look after it and myself as best I can. To try and inspire, in any small way. To share my experience and learn from others.
The sole came off my walking boots yesterday. It’s time to think outside the box.