Saturday, November 30, 2019

My 2020 Goal: Not Buying New Clothes

A new decade is upon us and I feel that the awareness of the impact of our decisions is increasing rapidly. Whether the issue is climate change and our carbon footprint, use of social media or the amount of screen time our kids have, most recognize changes could and should be made. In the past, my New Years Resolutions have varied from working on marriage to fitness. There was one simple one in in 2018 where my goal was to wear lipstick each day and offer more hugs–I did it!

Could you go a year without buying new clothes?

My goal for 2020: Not to buy any new clothes for anyone in the family.

This is not an economic decision but one that is impacted by commercialism, materialism, self-care and a desire to reduce our carbon footprint. Did you know that one T-shirt takes 2700 L of water to make? Did you know that people used to buy on average 12 items of clothing a year in 1980's and now we are up to about 68 items per year (this source says 70, and this one 64 items and 7 pairs of shoes). What?!  Social media makes it harder when we see the deals that people are getting or the gorgeous new boots etc but do I need any of that? No.

I think often we (I) try to "escape" the reality of our lives and head to the mall for a pick-me-up. The goal should be more about trying to work on the hard things in our lives. Maybe this looks like healthy meals, counselling, tackling financial issues or going for a run. I am guilty of this; I love buying a new shirt when I am feeling overwhelmed with work. I have a lot of shirts.

So, let's see how it goes. Maybe I will only make it one month but my goal is to not buy any new clothing for the entire family for as long as possible. The exceptions I foresee to this will be socks, underwear and shoes and possibly sports team related items or a birthday gift. I am able to buy things second hand so it should go okay as I am a fan of thrifting already. I plan to continue to use thrift stores, Facebook Marketplace, and swap kids clothes with my sisters as we have been already doing.  Would you be able to do it? Do you have a goal for the upcoming year?


Could you go one year without buying new clothes?


  1. 68 items of clothing a year?! That is crazy! Also, I don't think even in my height of shopping years I bought THAT much...!

    1. I know, it sounds like so much!!! I guess if you include all socks, underwear etc? I don't know, it is wild.

    2. Anonymous12:07 PM

      Wow good for you. I hunt can be fun. When I grew up, shopping was an almost never occurrence. And all of our equipment was bought second hand from skis to bikes. Now.... I'm a slave to online AND IRL shopping and can't seem to stop myself. I hate it! And if I decide to do second hand, I still buy way too much without properly considering what I'm doing.

  2. PS - i like this resolution!!