After about a year of blog slumber, I decided to reignite my green blog. I suppose I was just waiting for the right time and the right focus. I decided to kick it off with a bang with my New Year’s Resolution.

Recently, my husband and I reviewed our spending habits for 2010 and learned that our family of three spent about $2,300 on clothing, shoes and jewelry in one year. That is more than 3% of our total take-home spending. So, I need to take myself out of the equation. A lot of this spending was my own fault. It seems that every time I go to a store, I would see a sale item, like a $5 shirt and feel the need to buy it. Well I think I did that at least 30 times last year, so that adds up to at least $150 in just cheap $5 shirts that I hardly wear.

So out of this, I have decided that my New Year’s resolution is to stop buying “new” clothes from the regular stores. That’s right. For at least 365 days starting now, I will not buy any brand new clothes, jewelry, purses or accessories. I have no idea if anyone else has done this, but it’s a personal adventure and liberation for me. I’m excited about the challenge, except when it comes to bags and purses, I probably go weak in the knees. Maybe not that severe, but I will have to figure out a way to blind my eyes when I walk past handbags.

As I will save green and go green, my plan is to shop only in thrift and second-hand stores. I will purchase all of my clothing, shoes and accessories from places such as Goodwill, Moozie’s Closet, Salvation Army, and other second-hand stores. I’m not going to bend when it comes to special occasions, either. I may either borrow clothes from a friend or reinvent something I already own in my closet.

As the year goes on, I will be blogging my experiences and adventures. Wish me luck!

Rules and FAQs

FAQ #1) What about intimates (bras and underwear and socks)? The intimates will be the only exemption from this challenge. However, I will restrict my own buying power and encourage these as Valentine’s/Anniversary/Birthday gifts from my husband.

FAQ #2) What if someone gives you something as a gift? I accept all gifts, but for my personal clothing challenge, I am asking my family and friends to not give me clothing as gifts this year. [EXEMPTION, See Question #1] If I do receive a gift from someone who isn’t aware of my challenge, I will accept it with great sincerity.

FAQ #3) What about items with the tags left on? Some stores sell second-hand clothes with the tags still on. As long as these were original donations from the public, this is okay to purchase.

RULE #1) Limit shopping trips to 2-3 per month. Just because I am not buying NEW clothes, doesn’t mean I have to go shopping all the time in the second-hand stores. The challenge is meant to SAVE green while GOING green, not go broke in spending more just because it’s cheaper.

RULE #2) Limited to second-hand, thrift and consignment stores only. This does not include overstock stores, such as T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, Burke’s Outlet or any other Outlet stores.

RULE #3) Stores are not limited to my location and may include other stores, when I travel.

the author

Originally from Virginia, Jennifer C. Sellers is passionate about sustainability and conservation in South Carolina and throughout the world. She earned her BA in English from Coastal Carolina University and her MAS in Environmental Policy and Management from the University of Denver. She is a university sustainability coordinator that implements programs and teaches people about going green and being sustainable. Follow her on Twitter @MyGreenGlasses

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  1. Stephanie Phillips on January 1, 2011

    I’ll try to remember this when award season starts and you’re ready to go lookin’ for a dress! :-D

  2. NC-BFF on January 1, 2011

    So what if I give you a gift card??? You survived test #1 by going to the mall with us today and resisting the urge to buy new clothes! More tests to come :)

  3. Jennifer on January 3, 2011

    I really had to think about this one, so this is what I came up with:
    1) Depends on the store. If the gift card is for Target, then I don’t have to buy clothes or accessories. If the gift card is for Old Navy, then I could not use it on myself and get something for my daughter or husband.
    2) Depends on the friend. If my friends know that I am writing this blog, then I wouldn’t expect to see a gift card.
    3) Stuck. If the gift card is for a store such as the Loft, where there are no kids or mens clothes, then either a) use it as a gift for someone else or b) buy underwear and socks!

  4. Mary-Kathryn Craft on January 8, 2011

    Rule #3—There is a great consignment store in Columbia called Roundabouts where I both buy and sell. Come visit, and I’ll take you on a shopping trip :) Seriously, your challenge is awesome and inspiring. I wish you the best.

  5. Jennifer on January 8, 2011

    Thank you for your support! I’m starting a new section called “Explore the Store” where I blog about my experiences. I will definitely come visit you to go shopping! So fun!

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