The Retail Detox: A Year Without Shopping

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve put more time into thinking about what I want my New Years Resolution to be, often considering how I want to challenge myself in the new year weeks before midnight strikes on January 1st.

This year, I decided to challenge myself in a big way. I would give up shopping for a year. For twelve months, I will not buy new clothes, new shoes, or new accessories. If something happens and I desperately need to buy anything in the aforementioned categories, I will buy them second-hand.

The Shopping Ban

  • Clothing, including casual wear, outerwear, professional clothing, and activewear
  • Shoes
  • Accessories, including jewelry, purses, bags
  • Electronics
  • Home decor
  • Home wares, like bowls, plates, cups, cutlery, etc.
  • Convenience store lunches
  • Take-out dinners
  • Take-out coffee or other take-out drinks
  • Books
  • Journals
  • Candles

Shopping Ban Exceptions and Rules

  • Second-hand clothing, following the one in, one out rule
  • New headphones in the instance mine break or stop working
  • Gifts for other people
  • Textbooks for class
  • Monthly subscriptions to Audible and Spotify
  • Groceries, toiletries, and cleaning products
  • Having clothing tailored or mended

There’s a lot of reasons I decided to go on a twelve-month shopping ban. The most obvious reasons are financial. If I am not spending money on clothing, convenient lunches, or other material items, I will have more money to travel and pay for graduate school.

Other reasons are more personal. I’d like to lesson my environmental impact. The fashion industry is one of the most destructive forces on our planet. If you’d like to learn more about how fast fashion is impacting our world, I highly recommend watching The True Cost on Netflix. The best way to leave less of a mark is to lessen consumption. And quite honestly, since starting Project 333, I’ve realized how little clothing I actually need to have a functioning wardrobe. After all, I have a washer and am able to do laundry as often as I need to. And quite honestly, have a smaller wardrobe helps me save time in the morning and helps me to have my own signature look thats versatile, functional, and comfortable. Avoiding convenience eating will also help me to be environmentally conscious while also avoiding foods that are high in calories and low in nutritional value.

Along with being more environmentally friendly, not shopping will help me to be more intentional with my time. I’ll no longer spend weekends wandering around downtown looking at clothing and shoes. Because let’s face it, shopping is not and should not be a hobby. Instead, I can spend that time with friends, trying new recipes, being active, writing, and working toward my master’s degree.

So January 1st will officially kick off my twelve-month, self-imposed shopping ban. I am excited to see where this journey will take me, and I am looking forward to all I learn along the way.

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4 thoughts on “The Retail Detox: A Year Without Shopping

  1. Good luck! My husband and I are doing this as well! This is the third month doing it and it’s been amazing! Makes you appreciate everything you have and makes you realize that you normally spend so much unnecessary money on things you don’t need.

    1. I’m so excited to get started! Since I’m also doing Project 333, the temptation to buy clothing isn’t there. I already notice that I’m spending less, cooking more, and just being more appreciative. Can’t wait to see where the year takes me!

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