Entertainment Style Kirstie Clements: How to say no to online shopping in coronavirus lockdown
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Kirstie Clements: How to say no to online shopping in coronavirus lockdown

Young Woman Shopping Online While Relaxing At Home
From 'toast tongs' to fast fashion, Kirstie Clements is saying no to online shopping in lockdown. Photo: Getty
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A group of friends and I have begun scheduling a Zoom catch-up on Fridays at 5pm, intending for us all to connect and check in, but mostly to denote what day of what actual week it is.

Given there isn’t an awful lot to catch up on apart from “went for a nice walk, saw some cute dogs” etc, I asked if anyone was doing any internet shopping and what exciting things they had bought.

Toast tongs was one unexpected reply. Cut-price track tops, okay. “I have no real memory of what I’ve ordered, I just see what turns up every day” was another.

I am not going to judge because whatever gets you through lockdown is okay by me, but I have gone the other route this time around.

I am focused on buying nothing.

I’ve just downsized and cleared out decades of stuff. I am trying very, very hard to not acquire anything new, which I have to admit, is hard.

I’ve always been a shopper. I look at all the delivered packages every morning in the lobby of my apartment building with a great sense of curiosity – if we were allowed to mingle I would just sit there all day and watch people open things, it would feel like a kind of fun Christmas with your neighbours.

Meet the Lobby Lady

I’ve turned into the weirdo in the elevator who says “ Oooh, what did you buy?” to strangers.

For one nice guy at the end of the hall it was a new vacuum cleaner, another young woman her wedding invitations, which was a sort of sad/happy moment because she is probably going to have to postpone it.

There are a lot of beauty packages there every day from Mecca and Adore Beauty, and I can understand why, because beauty products make me ecstatically happy too.

A very polite notice went up on the wall because apparently someone’s MAC package had been “mistakenly” taken, and I was unduly indignant on my neighbour’s behalf. I’d be happy to set myself up as unpaid concierge at this point.

In my endeavour to consume less, I culled my social media, which is hard when you’re a fashion journalist.

I subscribe to lots of brands because I want to know what is happening, and what the trends are, but unfortunately therein lies the temptation to shop.

I spent a wistful morning unsubscribing from businesses I love, but there is no reason to order sandals on sale from Europe, or $25 hoodies from a ‘sustainable’ brand in the US, because all those carbon points and rotting piles of textiles dumped in West Africa are just not worth it.

Part of a more sustainable lifestyle is to make sure you wear something at least 30 times, so anytime I am even thinking about clicking ‘Purchase’ on a new clothing item, I go into my wardrobe to see if I already own a version of it, which I inevitably do.

I think it’s best if I just live vicariously through other people’s purchases for now.

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