12 Ways To Never Buy New Stuff Again!

By Adriane Marie â€˘  Updated: 03/20/22 â€˘  4 min read

When we buy new clothes, furniture, household items, etc. it not only affects our wallets but contributes to further: worker exploitation (sweatshops, child labor, unfair wages), pesticide usage, strain on resources (energy, land, water), possible involvement of animals (leather, wool, feathers) and will inevitably end up in a landfill. Here are some great tips to be a conscious consumer and live a life of minimalism.

When you do buy, buy high quality (vegan, fair, organic). What if you only had to buy something ONCE?! Not that long ago, everything from appliances to shoes were built to stand the test of time. Nowadays, things are designed to fall apart due to manufacturing savings and repeat customers. But some sustainable brands (even fashion!) are bringing durability back and are starting to offer “lifetime guarantees” on their products.

  1. Opt for a timeless not trendy style. Find clothing that is forgiving (waistlines included) and will accommodate changes in fashion and sizes of the human body. Decorate your home in a way that you will love for a long time.
  2. Don’t wash your clothing. Yes, you read that right! Don’t wash your clothes unless you absolutely must (intimates being the exception). When you do the laundry, try to hand-wash or spot clean the armpits or stains only. This will keep clothes lasting longer than you thought possible by keeping their shape and texture in tact. Every time we wash clothing it slowly destroys and warps items AND deposits micro-plastics into our water system through the washing machine! Note: dry cleaning is equally, if not more harmful to the environment do to toxic chemical output.
  3. Buy second hand (thrifts shops, yard sales, flea markets). Buying second hand online is an option too but not as sustainable when considering shipping and the possibility it may not look/fit as you had expected. Always best to buy in person!
  4. Repair rips and tears. Sew yourself or find an affordable repair shop.
  5. Find freebies on the street! (garbage days, cardboard boxes marked “FREE” if you’re a city dweller)
  6. Host a clothing swap party with friends and family, which puts a new twist on hand-me-downs.
  7. Repurpose. Use old glass jars for organizing, newspaper for wrapping paper, popsicle sticks and paper for kids crafts, old clothes for upholstery. Kids favorite “toys” always seem to be those that use imagination: pots and pans as instruments, laundry baskets for race cars, pillows and couch cushions to build forts!
  8. DIY. Using old drapes and curtains to make your own clothes may be a bit far fetched but before you toss out good fabrics, textiles and materials you may be able to use them for a do it yourself project around the house and garden.
  9. Borrow. Gone are the days of knocking on a neighbor’s door to borrow a cup of sugar. But why!? If you know you’re only going to use something once or twice why not borrow instead of buy? A lot of things can be borrowed…from books at the library to tools from a neighbor and yes, even a cup of sugar now and then.
  10. Rent. The concept of renting something is often forgotten but many shops have rental services that are worth looking into. Hardware stores rent out lawn-care equipment and electronics stores rent out equipment for events. Now there are even apps available to rent clothing from a stranger for a week or a month for an unbelievably low cost!
  11. Evaluate your needs. Get honest with yourself on what constitutes as a need and what is simply a want. There are times to purchase things we want but this can be a slippery slope into mindless, disposable consumerism (and debt!). When sticking with needs, there’s more value and worth in each item we choose to buy and keep for the long run.

Don’t forget to donate your old stuff to keep the cycle going!

Use HEALabel’s Fabrics, Materials, Textiles Guide to see the impact on animals, people and planet! If you’d like to contact me, Adriane Marie, you can do so using the HEALabel contact form here.

Adriane Marie

Hi, I'm Adriane, creator of HEALabel! I organize info for you to comprehensively see how purchases impact health, environment, animals and laborers. Stay aware because you care! Subscribe below to get my weekly newsletter with tips, new info and other ethical consumer insight.

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