I’m tired of being told by advertisers and retailers when to shop, what to buy and what I need.
Stores filled with St-Valentine’s hearts in December, St-Patrick’s Day paraphernalia and plastic Easter baskets in mid-February, orange Halloween decorations in the summer, Christmas in September and mega-sales on bonafide holidays have driven me to spend my money elsewhere.
There’s nothing of quality in most the aforementioned holiday stuff. It’s all junk, made overseas, brought here by exhaust producing transport trucks and packaged in plastic. Once broken or used a couple of times, the garbage truck will bring the items to the dump where they won’t decompose or degrade for decades.
That’s a pretty grim reality for most things were buy.
The anti-consumerism movements that have taken off in recent years are amazing. And some are even retailer supported.
Patagonia, the California based outdoor clothing company, is encouraging people who own their clothing to repair and trade amongst themselves rather than buy new. There aren’t many retailers who support and encourage consumers to extend the life of their products.
And the Canadian who started Buy Nothing Day is a prince among thieves, in my opinion.
As a consumer who is aware of my carbon footprint, I buy a lot of pre-loved clothing, toys and wares, I upcycle furniture while maintaining a minimal impact, I don’t buy throw away goods and I reuse as much as I can.
The last few pieces of new clothing I can remember buying were maternity or pre-maternity. Since I only go to playgroups and paint stores now, I’ve mostly gotten away with it.
But when I realized that most of my clothing is ill-fitting, off season or paint stained, I decided it was time to shop for myself. I can’t wear my tight paint stained shorts during a Canadian January.
So we packed up for an outing to the mall today.
I stood in front of the only retailer that I knew would have a few things that would fit, that I’d like, that would be reasonably price and that would get my kids home in time for lunch: The Gap.
Then I saw the sign: “50% Black Friday Sale”.
I went in anyways because outings with two young children in tow are difficult to manage. I went in because I desperately needed clothing, for myself. I went in because I didn’t go there expecting a sale. I went in because it was the Wednesday before Black Friday.
I bought a few things because I know my track record. I’ll repair them when they rip and the buttons fall off and, once I can’t repair them anymore, I’ll cut them into rags and use them to buff wax from my latest piece of furniture.
Because sometimes we need to buy things.