No/Low Shop 2023 – Can it be Done?

You’ve heard it here first – I’m attempting a No/Low Shop for 2023. This means I’m planning on making NO (or few) fashion purchases this year. I have heard more than once that a no/low shop for me would be nearly impossible and is definitely going to be a challenge: I work in fashion. I enjoy participating in fashion. I write a fashion blog and run a creator Instagram. This seems like a completely unnecessary goal for someone like me – so why am I even trying? Let’s assess…

1. Environmental Responsibility
I can’t pretend that the global climate crisis doesn’t weigh heavily on my mind and fashion is the 6th largest global contributor to pollution due to poor quality products, water consumption, and transportation. As a plus size person, I have to consider how products I want are typically sold online only meaning I directly contribute more significantly to transportation pollution with multiple orders and returns as well as waste from packaging. With the rise of greenwashing and deteriorating transparency from fast fashion brands on reporting sustainable practices as well, the fashion world is tough to navigate as a consumer.

2. Wearing What I Own
I don’t exactly wear everything in my closet – and neither do you. According to this article (and the Pareto principle), only 20% of your wardrobe is worn 80% of the time. With the size of my current closet, that means there are over 200 pieces in my wardrobe that are going unworn on a day-to-day basis. One of my goals this year is to try to make every day a special occasion by not saving my most precious items, including clothes, for a special occasion or event. One of the easiest ways I can do that is to wear something special or bold.

3. Improving My Personal Style
It’s easy to be fashionable when you’re buying the newest trends hand over fist. But is that really you? This past year, I’ve felt as though my personal style hasn’t really been mine. While I’ve been so thrilled to begin working in a new position that I’ve strived for my whole career long, the pressure has made me abandon my personal style for safety. I’m aiming to treat this as a brain teaser that will flex my knowledge of both myself and garments. I can’t wait to see what I learn!

4. Reducing Financial Impact
Buying cute things constantly requires money as we sadly haven’t evolved past a capitalistic society yet. I’m not mad about what I’ve spent on building my wardrobe but if I’m rarely wearing what I have now, why am I still buying new items? I have rather lofty five-year goals that require a more cautious approach to financials and an easy way to save is to cut back on frivolous spending. This category is definitely one that I can cut back on.

Why the low shop instead of fully committing to a no shop year? Frankly, inflexibility with bold goals is a guaranteed way to fail. I am aiming to set myself up for success by recognizing that I do enjoy shopping and this will be a challenge. I also help write orders for multiple brands at work and finally in 2023 they’re carrying plus sizes. I can’t possibly limit myself from purchasing an occasional item with such a strong sentimental attachment! I also want to note that I am hoping to work with new brands in 2023, so I’ll make sure I’m calling out when items are gifted or if it’s a new plus size brand I’m trying for sizing or an article.

Curious to hear your thoughts – do you think I’ll be able to complete the challenge? Would you ever try something challenging like this and if so, what would be your no/low category? Can’t wait to see how this challenge unfolds!




KatyJoe Idaho

To showing up, imperfectly

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