In 2016 I decided to take the not made in China challenge one step further by establishing some shopping rules and limiting my shopping. More specifically I wanted to focus my energy and hard-earned cash on eco-friendly, locally made products and limit myself to purchasing a maximum of ONE new item for myself per month.
A year later, and only a few items richer, this challenge has created a lot of awareness and made me realize how content and happy I am treating myself very rarely. Researching and contemplating what to buy ahead of time, instead of falling for impulse purchases, has helped me pick items I will use a lot and not regret later. Limiting my shopping for new things has also helped me be more open to second hand clothing – which was one of my goals for the year as well.
I know what you all want to know; after a whole year, what kind of items did I end up with and how much money did I actually spend?!
It was easy to compile the list! For starters I have been keeping track here on the blog and let’s be honest, there are not very many items to keep track of!
First, the fashion.
The average American buys 68 garments per year and only 2.5% of them are made in USA. Here are mine:
- A made in USA, small business, cotton tote bag ($24) from SeltzerGoods.com.
- An Italian designer sweater ($199) that I picked up at Century 21 in New York City.
- Another pair of recyclable, vegan, made in Georgia ballet flats ($45) from Oka-b.com.
- A super cute made in USA, modal dress (only $22) from Via74.com.
- Super comfy made in Los Angeles, modal maternity tights and nursing bra ($60 + $45) from Storq.com.
- A perfect, American-made, flannel shirt ($142) from Tradlands.com.
- My birthday bonus, a NYC-made, zero waste scarf ($60) from Tabiijust.com.
Total spending: $597.
Second, all the other “fun to have” purchases.
- Reusable, recycled aluminum water bottle, made in Washington state ($23) from LibertyBottleWorks.com. I bought one, and my husband surprised me with one, so I actually have two.
- Reusable, organic cotton, made in USA, make-up remover wipes ($12) from Skindeepnaturals.com. Not sure this classifies as a “fun to have” purchase, it’s a trash saver! But it was the only thing I got in February.
- Adult coloring book, made in Canada ($14), which I got at Barnes & Noble.
Total spending: $49.
Of course, in addition to the above I’ve bought eco-freindly, American-made body products like shampoo and I got a new pair of compression socks (doctors’s orders!). I also spent $105 on second hand treasures (two blouses, a sweater, a dress and a broche).
I am pretty impressed with my selection and determination this year. Only two imported items (one from Canada so not that far away). Keep in mind I’ve done this challenge despite getting pregnant and a large chunk of my wardrobe miraculously shrinking. Applause please! Thank you!
How did you do? Do you actually know how much money you spent this year on new, “nice to have” items for yourself? If you are unsure, and feel like you went a bit overboard this year, I encourage you to do the 12 months – 12 pieces challenge in 2017!
As for me, I don’t think I need to do the challenge again next year. I’ve gotten used to not shopping and I have a feeling I’ll be pretty busy keeping the baby alive so shopping too much for myself will probably not be an issue ;)