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!