Thriving During “Buy Nothing New” Month

Posted by Jill Chivers in Shop Your Wardrobe Strategies

I’m an ambassador for Buy Nothing New Month, a relatively new conscious consumption initiative started 3 years ago out of Melbourne.  When I first heard and read about Buy Nothing New Month, I thought I was reading my own website – the BNNM messages are so congruent and aligned with my own that the overlap is almost complete.

Buy Nothing New Month is about inspiring people to think and behave differently about their consumption patterns, for one month only – October.

It encourages us to think about where what we buy comes from.  I love that, as so often its easy to get caught up in the high of the buy, the thrill of the kill, that we can forget that someone had to produce this thing we’e thinking about buying.  Where and who did that? I’m especially drawn to these questions when I see advertisements for discount department stores and all the gasping that goes on over $3 kids t-shirts and $5 throw cushions.  Where did those items come from?  Who made them, and what did it ‘cost’ those people to be involved in that production?

Buy Nothing New Month also encourages us to think about what happens to our stuff when we are finished with it.  Some studies suggest that the average Westerner is responsible for about 30kg (60 pounds) of non-biodegradable fabric waste from clothing disposal alone. That’s a lot of clothes being discarded that won’t break down and aren’t part of the cycle of life. 

And my favourite part is Buy Nothing New Month encourages us to come up with alternatives to buying new.  Those alternatives include swapping, borrowing, buying second hand or gently pre-loved, sharing, revamping, upstyling and in other ways extending the life of the items we already own.  This option isn’t included in their list of alternatives to buying nothing new but it’s one of my favourites: can you see it as an adventure to do without it? 

And directly from the site, Buy Nothing New Month is “easy. It’s fun. It’s moving from consumption-driven to community-driven. It’s good for us, our wallets and our planet.”

It’s an honour to be an ambassador for Buy Nothing New Month.  You don’t have to be officially aligned with the initiative to get involved, you can have your own version of Buy Nothing New Month, in your own way and with your own people. 

What kinds of adventures might you have?


In Other News

In alliance with Buy Nothing New Month, The Clothing Exchange are hosting National Swap Day on Monday 8 October.  They’re holding a number of events – their biggest swaps ever is the goal — and I’m speaking at the Melbourne event in Federation Square from 6pm.  Check out The Clothing Exchange for more.

And finally if you haven’t checked out our new YouTube channel and video, you can click here to do so.  While you’re there, please feel free to leave a comment!


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