I was speaking to a friend toady about our BNN project and she commented that it had been pointed out to her by a third party that she and I were like ‘polar opposites’ in the way we consume. She is someone who loves shopping and loves higher end, quality brands. She buys most of her things new, but has no aversion to Ebay, choice hand-me-downs from friends or the odd opp shop surprise. She will happily spend money on clothing or items that are good quality but pricey. I’m much cheaper. I have only recently learnt to weigh up cost versus value (on the way to learning this I purchased a lot of crappy goods that didn’t last and stayed in lots of very cheap, flea bitten, filthy accommodation…I also subjected BP to this). I buy second-hand whenever possible. This is because I really enjoy the thrill of the chase and also feel better about it ecologically and economically.
What my friend pointed out was that if she hadn’t purchased all the things she did when her daughter was born, I wouldn’t have benefited from being able to borrow all those things when my daughter was born. And that, I believe, is a very important point.
Buy Nothing New works for us because we have a supportive community behind us. We have friends who are happy to hand things down, lend us things they’re not using and ask around for us. Yesterday, after a call out for help with plastic wear on FB, we were gifted a beautiful pile of vintage Tupperwear from a friend’s Grandma’s cupboard. So gorgeous.
Without this community we may still be able to complete a year of BNN, but it would be harder and a lot lonelier. I think that it would be rare for such plans and schemes (as BP likes to call them) to succeed without that communal support.
On the birth of Little Fearse my brother and his partner handed down so many, many things they had used with our nephews and no longer needed. Many of our wonderful friends offered us boxes and bags full of clothes their children had out grown. We were loaned Jolly Jumpers and Exersourcers and Bouncinettes and many other gadgets with cute names that babies enjoy. We have even been gifted two prams in the 8 months since Little Fearse was born.
We consider ourselves fortunate to be surrounded by a very generous and kind hearted group of people. This is a little shout out from the beginning of our travels through 2013 to say that we recognise how blessed we are to have you, gifters and loaners – community, behind us with our quest. We hope we’ll learn something worthwhile this year, something we can share with you in return.
I’ll end with this quote, not because it is spectacularly relevant, but because it will really annoy BP:
“I know there is strength in the differences between us. I know there is comfort, where we overlap.”
― Ani DiFranco