Buy Nothing New month – October 2012

Buy Nothing New Month is a fantastic concept that I found out about several months ago. Starting in Melbourne, it’s now spread to the Netherlands as well as the USA.

Every October, people pledge to buy nothing new. The aim: to cut down on unneccessary purchases, be buyer aware, understand where your items come from, support locally made products. They use the term “conscientious consumption“. That is EXACTLY what this about.

I pledge to beg, borrow, barter, swap and Buy Nothing New throughout October.

Sharing the same ethos as upcoming event Undress Brisbane (I blogged about the event here), this event calls upon consumers to second guess their purchases and buy nothing new during October. This is not to say essentials such as food, medicine and personal hygiene products are a no-go. Be sensible now – no one is asking you to not buy/use soap, no one is going to appreciate that you smelly bastard, especially now that the weather is heating up!

This whole deal is about wasteful consumption. Cutting back on the stuff we don’t really need and changing the way we look at existing stuff. – explains the “How” page which actually sums up all the different options available.

It’s such a fantastic concept and hopefully I’ll find that it carries over more than one month. I may not be as strict but I like the idea that even if I can make a more sustainable option a few times at least I’m employing that “everything counts” ideal. It may seem difficult at first but it’s actually not that hard when I thought about it.

Here’s a few ideas:

  • Instead of buying new clothes, organise a clothes swap. (I’ve wanted to do this for months and this month would be a perfect time to do it – so look out for details, friends).
  • That bottle of water you purchased? The plastic container your food came in? Wash it out and reuse it a few times. I love using plastic containers to bring my lunch to work, especially on days where I know I’m heading out after work and don’t want to have to lug around a lunch box. Something I can dispose of. (Unfortunately my building doesn’t have a recycling bin but I take it to one outside).
  • Buy locally made/sustainable creative gifts. I.e. I’ll be sourcing a handmade gift for my sister’s 19th birthday 🙂 I just can’t say what in case she reads this! Or even DIY and make something truly special.
  • Need new furniture? Suss out antique/secondhand stores which saves you heaps of money as well! If something looks old, patch it up by yourself. A new coat of paint can do wonders.

A handy checklist on Buying Nothing New from their website:

  • Do I really need this?
  • What is its lifecycle?
  • What went into making it (time, labour, resources)
  • What are the alternatives?
  • Where did it come from? How did it get here?
  • What is its environmental and social impact?
  • Who benefits from the purchase? What will it do for me?
  • What’s in it? Who made it?

Follow up on their website, Facebook and Twitter.


Other upcoming sustainable/eco-friendly fashion events:

October 13: The aforementioned Undress Brisbane: my blog, website.

September 24-30: It’s also National Op Shop Week – encouraging us to donate our unwanted clothes to your local op shop which are in desperate need of more donations.

Various dates from September to October: Touring NSW, QLD and ACT starting tomorrow (September 27) – the Salvonista campaign via Salvation Army are setting up a pop up store/eco-friendly van (powered by solar panels!) to promote fashion savvy, budget-conscious consumers to shop at your local Salvos Stores. Dates and locations are in the link above.


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