13 Oct Organic + Second Hand with Issy from Seriously Milestones
After my second bub was born, I was like so many other mums. Up all night, unable to stop during the day because of a toddler, and just exhausted. To get me through each night with my newborn, I stalked Instagram and shopped online – when you’re looking at everyone else’s pretty things all the time you soon start wanting them too!
When bubs was 3 months old, my sisters and I went to Melbourne for my birthday – and shopped up a storm. At the end of the day, I clearly remember my sister asking me if I had won tattslotto, because I just seemed to be buying all of the things, all of the time! I hadn’t, I was mainly shopping out of boredom, but that comment snapped me into realising that I needed to change my behaviour.
I remembered reading about a movement known as ‘buy nothing new month’, but I didn’t know much about it. When I looked into it I found that it is typically held for the month of October, but I knew it was something I needed to do then and there (August) – and so I read through the information and links and decided I was doing it!
The month was huge, the first week being the hardest.
‘Buy Nothing New Month’ isn’t about never buying anything new again, but more about thinking about your consumerism and what you actually need Vs what you want. It’s about challenging yourself to source something second hand, or borrow items, rather than purchasing. Taking your ‘keep cup’ rather than using disposable items, and ultimately spending less.
The biggest thing that came out of the month, for me, was my realisation about the cost of fashion. After watching the movie “True Cost” (do yourself a favour), I can no longer bring myself to buy clothing that isn’t organic or second hand. Honestly, shopping is no longer fun for me, and when I see cheap clothes I can only think about slave labour and the chemicals used to produce the material (sorry, not sorry if I’ve just ruined it for anyone else).
This has been reinforced again after watching the War on Waste and seeing that Australia throws out a tonne of clothing every 10 minutes – it’s just not the kind of thing I want to contribute to anymore (and it actually saves me A LOT of time as I’m no longer scouring the net for new clothes).
Image one: Orange Dress was $15 from second hand market
This isn’t to say I’m perfect – I wouldn’t say I was ever particularly fashionable anyway – my style is probably seen by my friends as ‘bogan chic’, but for me it was one way I can make a huge change. I still struggle to remember my ‘keepcup’, and as much as I hate to admit it, clingwrap is one of my best friends, these things I’m working on.
But that’s all you have to do, challenge yourself, pick out a few things that you can change that are easy changes (biodegradable toothbrushes are a good start), then challenge yourself to make bigger changes. Because if we don’t challenge ourselves, no one will.
Tips for making changes:
Do Buy Nothing New Month! And challenge your friends to join you (especially the competitive ones!).
Familiarise yourself with Baptist World Aid’s Ethical Fashion Report, the write a list of the brands that you commit to no longer supporting and the ones you will shop with. Go a step further and make sure every brand you follow on IG is produced ethically (and organically, if that’s your thing), to ensure that if you do make a purchase, you know it’s a good one.
Start small, and start with one thing, then add in more changes as you go.
By Issy Kerr of Seriously Milestones
Image two: Clothes borrowed for the shot