Why I stopped using Pinterest

Pinterest - and some cat vomit stuff

 Pinterest, and some cat vomit stuff

[I should note that that this blog post isn’t meant to offend anyone; it’s simply my prospective on this particular subject. I have a lot of friends who still use Pinterest, and that’s totally fine.]

Last year, the storage space on my phone was so full that I couldn’t even take a photo. In an effort to clear some things, I deleted the Pinterest app, thinking I’d add it back later. I never did, and I slowly stopped logging on through my desktop.

I’m not a crafty person. I can’t bring myself to make a chandelier out of wax paper and a hot glue gun – believe me, I tried. It just doesn’t happen for me. I love cooking, but I like to serve healthy recipes, not ones that resemble something the cat barfed up. I don’t dress in today’s fashions, so that part’s mostly out, too. Then the real reason: my “Home Ideas” board.

My home is never going to be a pristine mansion like many of the pins I had. Barring lottery winnings, I’m never going to build secret hideaways, sleeping porches, or have a kitchen that opens to an outdoor bar. Pinning those things made me feel insecure, incompetent, and worst of all, materialistic.

In the past year, I’ve changed the way I view objects in my life. I’d rather spend time sustaining a full and adventurous life rather than worrying about the fabric shade of throw pillows. Don’t get me wrong – I still want a warm and comfortable home, but life is outside, a whole wide world ready to take in.

Oh, and one more thing – Chevron stripes look like a couch a dude from Mad Men should be smoking Lucky Stripes on.

I Haven’t Bought New Clothes in a Year

A few years ago, my mother introduced me to a consignment store with an incredible Black Friday sale: everything was half off for the entire weekend.

Mom and I made it a yearly tradition of shopping there. I’d buy several name brand, high-end outfits worth hundreds, while only spending around 40 dollars total. I’d buy my work wardrobe for the entire year. The clothes were always clean, fresh, tidy and neat. Friends and co-workers were constantly commenting on my new clothing – asking me where I purchased it, and where did I find such a great deal.

Many were pleasantly surprised when I confided my sharp new look was actually used clothing from a consignment shop.

This lead me to an idea: Go one year without purchasing any new clothing.

For this experiment, I set some basic rules:
– I could not purchase any new clothing for exactly one year beginning Black Friday, 2013 and ending Black Friday, 2014.
– Shoes were excluded (I had to have a new pair for work)
– Underwear, including socks and tights, was excluded (obviously)

It was going to be hard. I live 10 minutes from Target, Kohls, TJMaxx, Rue21, and so many other places I’d normally frequent for clothes. It was hard to stop the temptation of “just stopping in” when passing by one of the stores.

During this year, I had to find alternative places for clothing. This lead me to really research what we wear, where it’s made, and what really goes into the production and sale of a clothing item. I immersed myself in the research of Chinese sweatshops, which is where much of our clothing is made. Children as young as five work in sweatshops, earning pennies a day sewing out oversized sweaters with chevron stripes. It repulsed me.

The things I learned during this year completely changed my life. I became a conscientious consumer in everything I purchased – learning the origin of my products. I dove headfirst into vintage living; replacing new “trendy” items in my home with vintage items made in the USA. By the summer, I wasn’t just buying consignment clothes, I was only buying clothing that I knew the origin of. Weather it be a vintage dress at an estate sale, or an all-American company creating an manufacturing goods ethically. (Note: I still only purchased used; just to keep with the yearlong experiment).

Did I make it? I’m still making it. We can work to change sweatshop labor every single day. Small changes, like being informed consumers, add up to big differences.