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’12 in 11′ Clothes challenge update

Posted by on Monday 10 January 2011 in anti-consumerism, frugal, less than 12 clothes challenge, low spend 11 | 9 comments

So last week I announced my personal clothing challenge for 2011: buy no more than 12 items of clothing across the year.

Since then, a number of most excellent people have said they’ll join in the fun:

A few other people have said they’re doing/will do something similar:

  • Su is trying WW2-style rationing – she has an allowance of ration coupons which can be spent on different things throughout the year. The “social history of the Second World War” nut in me loves this idea!
  • bookstorebabe can’t commit to the full challenge but will consciously recording all her purchases throughout the year, which I think is very useful in making consumption changes
  • damigeron has said he’ll be more conscious about it, if he remembers to be ;)

It’s great to see so many people up for a bit of a challenge in 2011! I can’t wait to see how it goes!

(Apologies if I’ve missed anyone out! Do let me know and I’ll add you to the list!)


Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Aunty Rubbish

    So far so good!

    I’m really enjoying the freedom of walking through ‘unloved’ (as opposed to ‘preloved’) clothes shops knowing that I can’t stop to browse. Mind you, it’s only been a week……

  2. bookstorebabe

    One of my daughter’s favorite aunts is taking her and I shopping at the biggest, best thrift store in town saturday…gulp! I’m doing a closet purge this week, so I won’t buy something I don’t need. Also to drive home just what I have. Wish me luck! And at least they have far more than clothes. (Can’t just avoid the clothing area, not with having to shop with the kiddo!)

    My mom still has one of her old ration books from the war. She and Dad tell us about the long waiting lists for cars and tires-they waited a year before they could buy a car. Gas was no problem, since Dad lived on a working farm. He brags about taking mom out when they were dating to a movie, white castle hamburgers, and only spending five dollars-including the gas! And they lived nowhere near each other, maybe a half hour drive?
    Thing is, with rationing, even if you had acoupon for something, there was also the problem of items just not being available.

    • louisa

      “I’m doing a closet purge this week, so I won’t buy something I don’t need. Also to drive home just what I have.”

      That’s on my to-do list for this weekend too – I don’t want to use up one (or more) of my precious 12 items replicating something I’ve already got!

      Good luck on your shopping trip!

  3. Alice

    Yeah, I’ll do it, if only to watch with horror how quickly I get to 12. I’ve already bought a pair of cycling leggings this year, which I’m pretty sure I’ll wear a lot in the summer and I got very cheap, but still.

    I have also just given loads of clothes away to someone in need though, as a result of conversations sparked by your original post, so I might give myself some slack with the 12 if I get rid of more clothes than I buy.

    • louisa

      Perhaps you could incorporate something like Taphophile‘s “seven things” idea – if you give away five things, you get five more things added to your allowance, so your net over the year is 12…? Could get a bit insane if you give away a lot of things though!

  4. Joris

    12 Items a year. I think I can do that.
    In 2010 I decided to go shopping in my wardrobe.
    The only things I bought were 2 pairs of summer shoes (replacements of 5 and 4 year old pairs)a t-shirt to wear to work, two pairs of winter shoes (replacements of 13 and 6 year year old shoes) and two long sleeve t-shirts to wear to work.
    That makes 7.
    This year I will need to replace two pairs of trousers. Last summer I wore out two 13-year old ones. I don’t like buying trousers. It’s hard to find fitting ones, and my volume varies just enough to need two sizes.

    • louisa

      Welcome to the challenge, Joris! Sounds like you’ve got plenty of practice at avoiding shopping :)

      I love the idea of “volume” varying rather than weight – it really is about volume, isn’t it? :)

  5. mama b

    tomorrow is february already & i think i’ve discovered this challenge too late. especially being as i can’t remember if i bought anything in january.
    maybe i could just buy 11!
    do socks count as 2? does it count if i knit them? and what about if i sew myself something out of something i already own?
    excluding underwear, i don’t think i bought more than 12 things last year, and i was pregnant (it seemed) almost all year!
    good luck, keen folk. i’ll keep following your challenge!

    • louisa

      Hi mama b,

      It’s not too late if you want to join in – limiting yourself to 11 sounds like a good compromise — or you could do as bookstorebabe is doing – just keeping a record of everything you buy from now on so you know how you’ve done.

      I decided not to count socks (or underwear) at all — I don’t think I’ll need any but if I do, I don’t want a multi-pack to wipe out my entire limit! I also give myself free run to make as many clothes as a I want some encouragement to make my own clothes — but someone who makes their own clothes already might prefer to exclude that – it’s up to each person really.


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