When I had my baby, I was diagnosed with post natal depression. In order to pick myself up, I would shop - a lot. I thought about new clothes I wanted all the time. But being on a single wage of not a lot, we really couldn't afford it. I had started making my daughter's clothes and basic toys and was complimented on them. I decided to challenge myself and not buy clothes for 6 months. That was okay, considering the baby was in the 'nap all the time phase' and I couldn't get to the shops anyway. But now I've decided to extend the challenge indefinitely.
There are many reasons why I think this is important. Number 1: we are pretty broke. I appreciate my husband's boss for paying him, but it's not enough and he does deserve more. Number 2: I was the social justice coordinator at my previous job in a high school. I taught the kids about fairtrade, but my fashion habit demonstrates the opposite (but seeing as fairtrade clothes are obviously more expensive, I find myself in a bind). Number 3: I'm not sure who the author is, but someone said that if you own more than 1 jacket, you are richer than most of the people in the world. So technically I don't actually need as many clothes as I would like to have, it is just nice to have pretty new outfits.
So here is what I propose to do: I am only going to purchase items such as underwear and hosiery that I absolutely cannot make myself. Of course I cannot make shoes, so they will need to be purchased if necessary. We have 2 sponsor children and also give money to a home for refugee students in Thailand which is run by a not for profit organisation known as Connect. Any money that we have that is spare, we like to give to them. If you have the time (and are actually reading this) please check them out at www.connect3e.org and donate if you can. Also, please google 'The Story of Stuff' and have a look at the movie. It is so confronting learning about where our 'stuff' comes from and goes to.
This will be a challenge as I am a full-time mother of a very active toddler, a full-time masters student and a full-time wife (as opposed to part-time?). But there are so many reasons apart from those I have listed to do something like this. If more and more did it, maybe we could put a hold on the drive for material possessions and think more about our fellow man.
Have a good day!