First Year we Didnt Shop

a.k.a Our First Year.
On May 15, 2009, we took on what most would say is the impossible: No shopping for one whole year. Why? Because, at the time, neither one of us owned a house, had an IRA or even a nice bedroom set. (Actually, we still don't, but that's beside the point!) Years of senseless spending and excessive shopping led us to the realization that all our hard-earned dollars were actually hanging in our closets. Hours of chatting, combined with several glasses of Suav Blanc, led us to start 365 Fashion Rehab- "The Year We Didn't Shop". No buying clothes, accessories, make-up, or frivolous household goods, no matter what the circumstance. In an effort to give our experiment more validity, and to be held accountable for our actions, we decided to put pen to paper and blog about our (long) year in Fashion Rehab. Since we live across the continent from each other, in Toronto and in San Francisco, writing our posts became a way of sharing our angst with one another.
The first year of 365 Fashion Rehab (click here for P's very first post and here for A's!) followed the ups and downs of our lives during this extreme retail therapy, and how it felt to be unable to immediately satisfy our retail cravings (read A's desperate denim plea here) in a time when materialism and celebrity covetousness is de rigueur. We took pics, shot videos, shed tears, and lusted over a million things (have you read P's Letter to H&M?), but yet we still stayed strong. The end of our journey was met with a fabulous trip to NYC to celebrate our friendship and our amazing accomplishment! More on that here...

Think you could handle life in Fashion Rehab? No doubt if we (two former fashion industry girls) can do it, you can too! Or, if you just want to check out our extreme list of NO, read on...


So What Exactly Were We Not Allowed To Buy?
1. Clothes of any kind. No socks, underthings, coats, t-shirts, tanks, jeans, dresses, tights, workout gear, rain gear, snow gear, skirts, skorts (as if), sweaters, bikinis, etc...
2. Accessories. Including all pumps, t-straps, platforms, spectators, wedges, booties, Havianas, sneakers, clutches, hobos, satchels, baguettes, totes, weekenders, wallets, hats, gloves, jewelry, and, of course, sunglasses.
3. Make-up. No power plumping lip gloss, liquid eyeliner, fancy foundation, romantic red lipstick, eyelash curling mascara, shimmering bronzer, eye-popping shadow- you get the picture.
4. Home Decor. Broad category of decorative pillows, fancy candles, vases, stationary and general "I do not need it but think they are cute knick-knacks that who's kidding who we probably don't have room for anyway".
5. Gifts. If we received gifts in the categories above we couldn't use/enjoy them until rehab was over!

We wouldn't have been able to do what we did without the support of our friends and family and our loyal followers. Nominated for a Canadian Weblog Award and called a "must-read' by Chatelaine "Style Desk"(for more press click here), 365 Fashion Rehab had an amazing first year.
What Now?
The good news is that we made it through with flying colors (though they may be from last season) and our 20-year long friendship is firmly in tact! The even better news is that we continue to blog about what we've learned in the hopes that others can learn from our years of material mis-steps. We are here now, in The Year We Did Shop...Wisely to spread the gospel that is conscious shopping. We love, and have always loved, to shop. The beauty part is, after a whole year of going without, we really know what we're after, where (and how) to get it and when to say au revoir to disposable shopping. Stay tuned... We are just getting our house cleaned after 365 days, all carpet will be cleaned, scotchguarded and deodorized, the carpet cleaning London company has donated its services to us. You can visit website here, and check out there prices