The 365 Day Non-Consumption Challenge

I have challenged myself to go 365 days (started on Aug 1, 2011) without purchasing new, off-the-shelf items.

What does that mean?Lets say I need to buy a new backpack for my daughter for school...I have to find that backpack in some way (thrift, friend, etc.) that doesn't require me buying a brand new, never before used item. Essentially I want everything I purchase to be giving me their "second life".

#1 The environmental impact used to produce, ship and package new items while perfectly good ones sit in consignment stores, thrift stores and basements.
#2 To challenge the idea that status=belongings. To rethink the phrase "He who dies with the most toys wins" and prove (even if just to myself) that I am the sum of my actions, not my belongings.

So NO buying items brand new for 365 days.
(p.s. I am not a martyr so exclusions will apply to things like runners, undies, etc. to make this realistic it has to be recycled TP) see "ground rules" post below for more details.

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

"Disposable Fashion"


Well Friends, You are going to hear a lot about fashion and clothing if you read this blog. Mostly because that is where my experience and interest lies, but the ideas are for everyone and can be modified to your own interests.

So here's a little story...

I think I mentioned before that I have always worked retail for high-end, luxury brands.

While at work one day, a co-worker, who while very experienced in the industry, had been previously working for a cheap, fast-fashion store (the name I'll leave out but think tacky and trashy and you've probably guessed it). She was commenting to me how nice it was to work at a place where the goods were so reputable because at the other store (we'll call it T&T for fun) the clothes were always falling apart, shortly after being washed and worn.

My friend commented to a senior company employee at "T&T" about this and the response she received was something to the effect of "This is disposable fashion".

I was literally flabbergasted when I heard this tale. You see some people call me a snob because I won't shop (or usually even go into) stores like "T&T", but it's not because it's a "cheap brand" that I do this, it because I don't agree with giving a retailer my hard earned money to buy something and then have to re buy it again in three months, and again in three months, get the idea.

So what does this have to do with my 365 day Non Consumption Challenge?

Well not everyone is going to not buy new, and I don't think you need to if it's not your thing.

But I would challenge you to think about something...can you buy one great quality item, something that never goes out of fashion and save money and time doing it in the long run?

Burberry Double Breasted Trench.

If a classic trench coat ever goes out of fashion I will eat crow pie!!!

This EXCEPTIONALLY crafted and
has been worn for generations, retails for $1000.

But YOU WILL wear this jacket with pride for 10+ years and if you take care of it, it will take care if you! And will save 10 Years of Garbage Jackets and your cash being thrown away!

Now if you see one at the thrift store...I'm Begging you....tell me about it!

Enjoy your day,

Your trash is another persons treasure!!!

So how much money have you made off facebook?

No, No...that isn't a typo, and I'm not talking about ads either...I'm talking about SWAP AND BUY!!!!

This may be my favorite invention, you see it is a facebook group in your neighborhood of people who are selling their used stuff and buying your used stuff!!! AWSOME!

Let me give you an example...

Kids Burberry Trench on my local swap and buy for $50!!!
And yes I will be buying it later today :)

But on a even better note I will be buying it with the $50 I MADE SELLING MY STUFF on swap and buy!!!

And because I genuinly believe the universe sets things up I am going to follow this post with one I had composed a while ago but didn't publish for fear of criticism...but I think this post proves me right!!!

Stay tuned...

Enjoy your day,

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

ExceLizity: It's been a while...Did I fail? Or just give up?

ExceLizity: It's been a while...Did I fail? Or just give up?: Neither! I am committed to this thing! Not because it makes fun blogging or because I am tight on cash but because it makes a difference...

It's been a while...Did I fail? Or just give up?


I am committed to this thing!

Not because it makes fun blogging or because I am tight on cash but because it makes a difference in my life and in who I am.
I think part of the reason why I needed to step back was because I was having a hard time expressing this, because yes the 365NCC has saved me a ton of cash and I love knowing that when I buy something re-used there is less waste going into our landfills but it is more than that...

I feel in control!
I feel Relief!
I feel Happiness!

There is a Psychology to the way a store is laid out...for example most people enter a store and go right (try it out, I bet you go right). Well there is also the well known tick of putting what you need to buy (milk) at the back of the shop so you walk buy the things you don't need (chips, pop, chocolate) to get there (in fact now that I think about it the milk is usually behind the chip aisle too!). This is all done so that you purchase things you never came for but part with your cash none the less.

I sometimes buy baby cookies and other baby nummies from the "Real Canadian Superstore" where I have to walk past all the women's (very cheap and cheerful) clothing, then through the toddler clothing to get to the needed baby food. This would ALWAYS cost me extra cash and TIME, plus the things I would talk myself into buying was stuff I really never needed in the first place.

Now I pass through effortlessly, saving money and time, and I leave feeling in control (for not succumbing to the marketing), relief (for not wasting time and money) and happiness.

So yea, I failed to write anything for 2 months but NO I did not fail the challenge.

This is the reason:

I have a Puppy! Her name is Souris and she is superstar but between that and the kids starting school time to blog evaporated but I have had many fun second hand trips and still wonderful things to share so I hope you keep reading!

Enjoy your day,

p.s. Feedback keeps me motivated so please comment!

Thursday, 1 September 2011

No New + Back to School...youch!

Even if you don't have kids you know it's that time of year again.
Not because the leaves are just beginning to change or because to the taste of winter's chill in the evening air.
You know it's fall because every single media outlet is pumping you to buy this and buy that! How will your kids ever grow up to be a noble prize winning lawyer if you don't...not to mention be popular...eeeck run to Walmart! Now!
So as I send my 5 year old off to kindergarten for the first time I am forced to navigate this minefield 365 Non Consumption style...

To be honest with you all it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.

I already know I'm not buying anything new so the desire I would have had to buy her a sparkling new, fancy backpack (and lunch sack, water bottle, jacket, jeans, etc....) is gone! Replaced by the fact that she really can use the one she has from pre-school.

I can't tell you how relaxing it is to NOT listen to my own inner dialogue.

"Well she really doesn't need anything new but all the other kids will have gotten new stuff for their first year and she will look so cute with that new (insert all kinds of stuff here) I should get it for her..."

You know the chatter, the "I don't need but I still want to buy it, should I?" chatter.

Ahhh... none of that! Even when I made the trip to Walmart to buy the necessary new notebooks (kinda a must, recycled paper!) I left with only what I came for and completely avoided the time suck and money drain that is Walmart. (Insert angels singing here.)

All they really needed was new pants, here comes the fun part...

That's 6 pairs of pants right there!

Garage Sale $1.00 each!

That means I picked up all the pants Tiny and The Goose will need this fall/winter for $6!!!

Adding $114 ($20/pair) to the saving calculator (at bottom of blog).

At least she sill know which ones are hers, right?

Also on our "list" provided by the school, doutang and folder. Well look what I had hiding away in my home office, a doutang and a folder! Amazing right!
There was writing on these reused things but we also had some scrapbooking pieces left over so we did some artistic cover up.
The "fancy"ones at Walmart were $3.00,  this was free! (+$6.00 to S.C.)
The bonus is how proud she is of them and the "craft" time we spent together (Hey, Mastercard...that's priceless!)

And finally...I'm that mom that likes to send her girl out with fancy paper napkins in her lunch do I do this and not consume...

Buy old Hankies at a garage sale 25 cents for 2!!!

Their pretty and reusable!  I like to idea of how cute she will be with her own linen nappy at the lunch table not to mention the paper towel she won't use WHEN she spills her applesauce.

That's it folks back to school done for a grand total of $19.75 (includes required stationary supplies), just because we chose to use what we have and buy reused for the rest.

Bonus....Tiny and the $2.00 lululemon hoodie...mommies need stuff too!

Enjoy your day,

Please comment...I love to hear your thoughts :)

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

And that makes two!!!

Holy Narwhal!

(okay...I really just wanted to use the word narwhal in a sentence...have you seen the song on youtube?)

There are now TWO 365 Non Consumption Challenge peeps!

Welcome Becky!
Becky's post is here if you would like to see it.

It is great that other people have taken this to heart and I think it's even better that they are making the challenge their own. Becky is going for 30 days instead of 365 but she is giving up Starbucks!

I can't wait to read more about her challenge...

What do you think about all this??? I'd love to know!!!


Thursday, 25 August 2011

A tale of two GUCCI's

So one would ask can you have your cake and eat it too? Or, in my case,
have your Gucci and not buy new?

I say yes you can! And here is the story of two wonderful things (both bought for under $20).

The first a vintage Gucci day timer/agenda bought at "Kay's Korner" in Victoria.

The day timer was on sale for $15.00!!!

 It is very fantastic with rings inside for papers and a slot that will hold an ipad! Not that I have an ipad but if I did it would be perfect! in the meantime I plan on using it as a vision binder posting reminder notes to myself of all my goals and dreams. My sister found it for me and had to grab it, she did good!

The fact that it matches My Gucci Pelham bag is a bonus!

how pretty are you?
The second fantastic find...

This is why, when you are driving through a small town and you see the crazy thrift store you should stop! let me set the stage:

Enter: Mill Bay, Vancouver Island, B.C., me and my sister.

Me: "Salvation Army! We gotta stop."
Sister: "I've been there a million times they never have anything good"
Me: "I wanna go."
Sister: "I'm staying in the car"

Me being me didn't care what she said and entered anyway, and let me tell you this store is in the middle of NOWHERE beside a gas station, surround by trees. My first stop was the showcase, as it was just inside the front door and low and behold look at what is inside. I calmly ask the clerk to see it, read the price tag and hand over my debit. As the sale goes through...

Clerk: "You don't think it is real do you?"
Me: "I know it's real."
Clerk: "How do you know it is real?"

Debit pin pad reads approved, I grab my receipt and reply,
"I work in designer handbags, one of which is Gucci. Thanks!"

Ahhh... that was a priceless moment! My sister freaked out and insisted we go back into the store and scour it for more goodies...

This happened a few years ago when I was still employed at a high end Canadian retailer, and I recently sold the bag on Kijiji for $350. I never used it, I am more of a hobo bag girl and if you read my last post you know I have a tiny house and need to conserve space!

That reminds me, I forgot to tell you the price I paid...
the bag was $18.00
so I made $338 dollars on that deal! Not bad.

You never know what your going to find....
which leads me to a new slang term, as I have evolved
from a fashionista...
to a frugalista...
to a treasure-ista: "a person who still loves the good stuff but is happy to buy it in a way that limits impact on raw materials and is economically responsible (I don't do debt!)"

Got any good stories out there you want to share? Or something fantastic that you just don't have space for anymore? Send me a message and I'll give you a post! I know there is other Treasure-istas out there...

Enjoy your day,

savings calculator: Adding $588.oo (see bottom of blog for running total.
Day timer $250 (I would have bought a good quality one, I like my things to last.)
Handbag $338 (new Gucci Boston bag is easily $800 but this one was vintage...)