How to Buy Less Stuff in 2020

It’s the time of year when those of us lucky enough to be off work or on break from school lose track of time, falling into that casino-like warp when a couch nap or a scrolling session on Instagram could be minutes, or last until dark. The good news about this sweat-pants-and-chill limbo is that It’s the perfect time to reflect on the past year and envision your intentions for the new one.

January was actually named after the Roman god Janus, a mythical deity depicted with two faces symbolizing the passage of time with his ability to look both forward and back simultaneously. But it wasn’t until Caesar’s reign in the 40s (B.C. bruh) when the first new year’s resolutions were made. Of course back then resolutions were mainly centered around morality, which clearly didn’t endure considering this same crew invented that whole throwing people to the lions for punishment thing.

Though New Year’s resolutions may seem cliché, there are many reasons why so many people opt for this timeframe to give up a bad habit or embrace a WWOD (What Would Oprah Do)-level of positive change. For one, it’s a clean slate and an easy date to mark and recall. There’s also a built-in cohort of others embarking on their own goals during this time, who can commiserate when you find yourself chin-deep in a pint of Rum Raisin.

Unlike in Roman times, most people nowadays aim to eat healthier, exercise more, quit smoking, wear pants with a waistband, etc. for their resolution, but this year, we’re coming at you with a goal to adopt that’s much easier. Not only will it make your life easier, but it’ll help the rest of the planet as well. No, we’re not suggesting you start scrapping the TP to save some trees, but simply put, when it comes to your wardrobe: Stop.Buying.So.Much. Especially this time of year, it can be tempting to stock up when every store is taking extra off the already low-low-price, but resist! To help you kick the fast-fashion habit, we’re sharing some tips so you can say “veni vidi vici” to this year’s resolution.

Why Buying Less Is Better

The first step to any resolution is to admit that you’re powerless. Wait, wrong vice. The first step to starting a new goal is to figure out why you should make the change. If you want to buy less, here’s a few reasons to get behind:

1. Getting dressed is easier with less

Believe it or not, the fewer clothes you have, the easier it is to get dressed. There’s a reason Steve Jobs wore the same black turtleneck every day; it was one less decision he had to make so he could focus on getting things done. You don’t have to adopt his monochrome aesthetic either; try a capsule wardrobe instead, which comprises a few high-quality and timeless pieces that can be mixed and matched. Think: selvedge denim jeans, a well-cut tee shirt or two, a sleek pair of booties, a blazer or cardigan. There are few instances in life in which a combo of this outfit wouldn’t work.

2. Buying less saves you money

Creating a capsule wardrobe with a few classic pieces may require a small investment upfront, but you’ll be surprised how much you can save over time when you don’t have to constantly replace worn-out or outdated pieces.

3. Buying less is better for the environment

The fashion industry is one of the worst environmental culprits. Waste created from surplus styles churned out by fast-fashion brands or cheap, synthetic fibers entering our water sources are just a few examples. The best way to combat waste is to buy quality pieces designed to last. Choose items made from sustainable materials that are ethically produced, like our Bluer jeans. Before you buy, check out the designer’s website for info about their supply chain-- if they’re like us, they’ll be transparent about their practices.

How to Buy Less and Still Get Stuff

So now that you’re on board with the whole less is more mentality, the hard part is sticking to it. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered there too:

The urge to shop can be hard to break and why wouldn’t it when we’re bombarded with ads and blogs telling us that we need more (present blog excluded). In those moments of weakness, try to curb your desires with some more thoughtful options:

Swap, don’t shop - You’ve got cool friends, so throw a swap party (no, not the key kind). Invite some like-minded (and ideally, like-sized) people to pool their cast-offs and swap around. It’s a great way to purge your closet and score some new-to-you items.

Go Second Hand - The most eco-friendly way to shop is second-hand. From online stores like Poshmark to the luxury site The Real Real, there are plenty of places to find some gently-word goods that can make great additions to your wardrobe while being saved from the landfill.

If you must buy, do it thoughtfully - We get it, you have a wedding or an interview and need something you don’t own. If you’ve tried the above to no avail, allow yourself to shop. Just do it mindfully, take heed of the quality and ensure it won’t be a one-hit wonder.

The most-kept resolutions are the ones that aren’t too lofty, so we’re aiming for progress, not perfection. Allow yourself to slip up and keep going, afterall, buying less is truly a lifestyle change, not just a 12-month contract. And who knows, maybe this time next year you’ll be ditching the TP, too!