Less Is More… (This is why I stopped buying clothes- part 2)

Living minimally and in a simple non extravagant way is not something that the world was recently introduced to. Generations before us did it, not by choice, but out of necessity. My own parents and grandparents, and even myself as a kid, we lead a similar simple life and I remember it vividly, yet I have no recollection of how we all transitioned into this fancy, lazy, harmful new way. Every new thing/machine/device that has been invented to help humanity comes with some kind of harm: Microwaves, Phones, Ipads, Internet…etc.

Decades, if not a century later, history is repeating itself, except this time, it is by choice, and not out of necessity. People are more conscious about their lifestyles, and aware of the harm done to our planet and how by small decisions all of us can help whatever is left.

There is a huge wave of thinkers, researchers, environment lovers, who finally have been speaking out and using the social media as an outlet to increase awareness about the many ways we are harming our beloved planet, in ways we don’t even know of.

The more I knew about the whole thing the more I wanted in, and in this post I will share with you my way of doing it, which is basically thinking back about the life I have had as a kid and try to imitate it now. I am not a Guru in this matter, I am just a novice who started her journey, and I would like nothing more than sharing this journey with you.

Growing up I didn’t really need/own lots of clothes, I had what I needed and what fit into my closet. As a kid I spent all my money on books, and clothes came last of course- Yes I was a nerd lol- So now before buying anything new I think back to that era of my life, and how I focused on what was more important to me, and I try to do the same. Of course that is no walk in the park, with all the sales, pretty things in the shops, colorful and eye catching items almost calling your name, However, I always try to do the following:

1- Sleep on it: If you feel like you really want to buy something, sleep on it for a couple of days. Almost always you will realize that you don’t really need it, and if you still feel like it, then go ahead but at least you have tried.

2- Avoid malls. There is really NOTHING for me in the mall! I only go IF and ONLY IF I needed something.

3- Borrow, or buy second hand. For example, this Halloween Adam wanted to be a Superman, I asked my friends to check who has a superman costume, at home collecting dust, so I can buy it from them. One of my friends had one, she offered to lend it to us, and we happily took it! It was perfect, and we didn’t spend a penny on it!

4- Let go of the idea of: “I need to buy expensive things in order to fit in”. To me that is the most absurd idea ever! My clothes say nothing about who I am, and if someone thinks otherwise then probably they will never be in my circle anyways.

5- Go for experiences: My husband and I decided that we will condense Birthdays, anniversaries, Valentines, and whatever other holiday there is, and just save up and TRAVEL! We love exploring the world together along with our wonderful little boy- who may I say, loves traveling even more than we do lol!

6- We are very blessed to have family who help us tremendously. Adam is only four and obviously is growing bigger and bigger each day, so his clothes get smaller. We never buy him any clothes though, because once a year, his Grandmother buys few outfits for him and that’s more than enough. He owns few shorts, couple of jeans, few T-shirts, and a jacket. Two drawers worth of clothes. Just what he needs. then we give them to a friend who is a year younger than Adam, so it worked perfectly.

Some people might think that I am depriving myself and my family from life’s finest joys, to those I say for us the true joy is to be healthy and happy together, enjoying life’s experiences and challenges together. Giving back to our planet, community and the people we love the most. Preparing earth for the generations to come, and not destroy it instead. The less we own the happier we are.  Things will always be things, being attached to them doesn’t make any sense, instead we appreciate the people around us, our family, our close friends, and our planet.

With Love , Ouiam

This is why I stopped buying CLOTHES!

A couple of months ago, I celebrated a whole year of buying absolutely nothing. A whole year of not buying a single clothing item, no make up, no shoes, no handbags… nothing! If you are already raising your eyebrows, rolling your eyes, wondering how or why I did it, then please stick around and wait for what’s coming!

A little over 4 years ago, I sat in a hospital bed, in one of those fancy gowns that barely cover anything. I sat there drowsy from the amount of anesthetics I have had in the previous 24hours, wondering whether I would live to hold my baby in my arms, whether I would take him home, whether I will see my baby growing up, go to school, graduate, and even get married? Yes, I was told that I was dying –Due to a severe postpartum hemorrhage, you can know all about it here– At that moment nothing seemed to matter, nothing at all. Not my bank account, not what car I drove, not what kind of house I lived in, not what kind of handbags I carried… nothing. Thankfully God had other plans for me, and life wasn’t done with me just yet, that’s why I am still here today writing all about it. However, something deep in me changed forever. Nothing mattered other than health, and having my loved ones healthy and next to me. Being close to losing everything teaches you a great lesson about what is really important in life. You learn that true happiness – not the momentary one- comes from inside, and from just how much peace you have inside you.

So the first decision I made, once out of that hospital room, was to live every minute of my life with a meaning, and to spend whatever is left of my life focusing on what is really important, without failing to resist pressure and temptation our modern world imposes. Which led me to asking more questions about everything, even the known and established facts. What has helped in the process as well, was the years that I have spent being a flight attendant (4 years), travelling around the world. It allowed me to have a wider perspective of the world, it has also offered an uncensored view of all the hidden corners that almost no one talks about. One of the destinations I always dreaded going to though, was Bangladesh, and that’s because of all the children who spent their days in the markets selling random things instead of being in school, and because of all the factories that made clothes for different well knows brands, with a really really low cost.. too low to even feed the workers and their families, even though they worked all day long, every single day! I then came across a documentary called “The True Cost” which I recommend to everyone who wants to be the change in this world. The documentary talks about the clothing industry, and what it is doing to our world, a true eye opener! You can find it on Netflix.

Knowing where our clothes came from, was a deal breaker for me. Knowing that thousands of people were being mistreated, abused and even dead in order to make the fancy dresses, shirts or pants I wear made me sick. And even though I am fully aware that I am just ONE person, and that big brands could’t care less whether I buy their things or not, I still feel great every night when I go to bed, because I know I am making the right choices.

The other point that made the decision so much easier is knowing that 95% of the cotton used in the industry of clothing is Genetically Modified, and that cotton is touching the biggest, most sensitive organ I have: My skin! And just like that : I never bought a single thing Again!

How many jackets do you really need? How many black pants do you really need? How many white shirts do you really need? Think about it, will you? We shop because it makes us happy, this happiness wears off minutes if not seconds after wearing those clothes once, then we get rid of them either by throwing them or by donating them: which does sound good, but it still ends up with the same fate: The trash! Which is a whole other subject: Do we care enough about our planet, the home of our children, grandchildren, and the many generations coming after them?

We mostly buy things when they are on sale even if we don’t need them, we end up with huge closets, where you can see none of the clothes you actually have and you always end up wearing the same outfit again and again. Having a small wardrobe enables you to use each and every item you own wisely. You start seeing each and every piece you own clearly, and you make use of them all.

Once you pass this stage, it really becomes so much easier to control yourself, and once you start asking yourself questions like: “Do I reaaaally need this?”, “Will I ever use that?”, you will definitely start to make the right decisions.

If you wanna know how I incorporate all the above into my daily life, and how I make the decisions on how to spend my money, please stick around for my upcoming post ;).

PS: I have owned the clothes in the picture above for over 10 years! I still wear them with so much love, and they still look great- or at least I think so lol –

With love, Ouiam!