Buy Nothing New

2015021_BAS_Buy nothing new
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Today something really neat happened. It’s one of these coincidences that happen in life, but if I ever put them in a novel, my editor would ask me to dump the scene because ‘it sounds too made up’.

As I don’t just post cleavage photos with my posts for no good reason, you might have guessed that the story has to do with this brown dress—and it does: I used to own exactly this dress in Germany and I loved it. It’s nothing special, just a simple Zara t-shirt dress, but it was a staple of my summer wardrobe until it it was beyond saving and I had to throw it away. As of today, however, I own it again—and only because I have decided to buy nothing new this year. Isn’t that amazing?

Maybe you remember that one point on my list of resolutions for 2015 was to buy nothing new, apart from the obvious things like groceries and basic cosmetics (and maybe, maybe with the exception of trips to Germany). Those who know me were probably pretty surprised when I decided to try that because it’s not really in character, but I have two good reasons:

First off, I want to save some money and change unhealthy spending habits. Every once in a while—usually during or after working a lot, which in freelance universe means a well filled bank account—I just start buying stuff. All nice things of course, but nothing I really need. And often enough, the joy of the purchase vanishes pretty soon too. A quick fix to make up for extra long workdays and for weekends and nights spent at my desk. Not really worth it, and when I need money for a bigger purchase—or have to pay taxes—I’m broke. That’s a pretty unhealthy system, so I thought I should stop doing that.

The second point goes a bit beyond my own wallet. I am absolutely intrigued by the concepts of minimalism and sustainability, but I’m not sure about my ability to stick with something like it. So this is my experiment to smooth me into the lifestyle du jour. Things I take on as one-year experiments seem to work pretty well for me, so here we go.

And so far, I have been successful. I bought some workout gear I really needed—on an Amazon gift card I got for my birthday in January. Other than that, nothing. Though I have to say, this is not necessarily a reason to be proud of myself and my immense self-control. Because thanks to my Facebook ‘Buy Nothing’ group, I can give things I don’t use to others who like them—and put my name in the hat for stuff I adore.

So far, I have received brand-new and really nice running pants, a ton of lemongrass tea, the perfectly stylish almost-flats pictured below—and today, the dress I used to own back in Frankfurt, Germany. I have to say, I love this group and its spirit! And what I love most about it today—even more than to have ‘my dress back’—is the fact that now a simple little Zara dress in my wardrobe comes with a story that will always put a smile on my face.


Olivia de Winter is most of all an avid writer and reader. Though she likes to consider herself a cosmopolitan, she is quite European - or German, to be honest - in many respects.

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