Confessions of a fashion addict and Buy Nothing New Month.


I have been following the Adbusters anti-consumption activist journey since my early uni-days. Their campaigns and culture jams are witty, productive, creative and informed. I participate in their “Buy Nothing Day” each year – not to have a tokenistic approach to consumption, but to use their campaign and information as a way to read, be an informed consumer and better understand the lifecycle and impact my purchase decisions have on our environment.  I frequently use the Adbusters resources in my Design and Technology classroom, I believe that better consumer choices will be enabled by clever and thoughtful design.

You can read more about Adbusters here:


Two years ago I blogged and participated in the Buy Nothing New month which I am doing again this year. It is an Australian campaign that runs for the month of October:


I am a SELF CONFESSED FASHION ADDICT, I LOVE buying quirky, strange, on-trend clothes. Buy Nothing New month isn’t so much of a challenge as a lot of what I purchase is second hand and re-purposed. My SELF challenge from now on is to not only not buy anything new for October, but look at WHERE my clothes and fashion purchases COME FROM. How they are made? How are they manufactured, processed, dyed? What packaging does it come in? Is it necessary that I purchase it- WHO will its purchase support?


. . . a month of reflection that will start a longer journey! YOU can sign up to pledge to BUY NOTHING NEW for a month here:


Can YOU buy nothing new??

For everyone that knows me you know that I have this internal dilemma as a designer/artist. . . .

How can we as consumers/designers sustain this cycle of consumption when SO much of what we consume is useless/pointless ?? Yes, we all guilty of over consumption.

The real turning point in my thinking was while I was at Uni studying design, I was 2nd year (which was 2003) and I had this “Hippie” lecturer that WALKED everywhere, she refused to go anywhere that you couldn’t get to using public transport or to even sit in a car!! lol. She traced back the origin of all the products she bought to make sure they were sustainable- this dedication was exhausting!  Since that time I have followed the writing of Clive Hamilton. Especially his books Growth Fetish and Affluenza, they both really struck a chord with me not only as a designer, but as a consumer. It made me reflect on our society, and my personal consumption patterns and even where I worked (My Name is Monique Dalli, and I regrettably used to work for NIKE).

Culture jamming has been a response that I have participated in for a few years- Adbusters are a global culture jamming movement that encourage individuals to participate buy doing simple things: Digital detox  and Buy Nothing Day are ways EVERYONE can break patterns of consumption and reflect on WHAT you buy, and WHERE it comes from, especially poignant around the silly season of Christmas, I especially like this Adbuster image:

So. . . .  I got pretty excited when I saw this- AN AUSSIE JAM!!

Do YOU think you could BUY NOTHING NEW for a whole month? I pledged, but before it begun really needed to double confirm the parameters of the pledge lol

During the first 3 days of October I went on mini-holiday to Hobart, NO ONE got a souvenir or gift upon my return. Sorry to all my family and friends that would normally get a pressie, but this cause is greater than magnets and trinkets that are really just “made in china”. While exploring in Hobart I found some really cool stuff amongst the usual tourist crap at the Salamanca Markets, a lot of the stalls were handmade food and body products, but what really let the markets down was sadly the cliche Australia boomerangs and crappy unauthentic Aboriginal Art that is mass-produced. No, I didn’t buy anything.

This guy was making new little “Robots” from unwanted toys and junk, each Robot had a name and a card- which told you a little about its persona, and were its body parts came from, so very cool and creative! His slogan on the table was “Be creative, re-use, up-cycle”.

What really got me thinking after seeing his creations was- Where do all the unwanted toys usually go??!!?

Do you have children?? Where do all their unwanted toys go??

The rest of the 3 day holiday in Hobart I spent my $$ on experiences, walking round and visiting small galleries and MONA !!! I cant believe I walked through the souvenir shop and BOUGHT NOTHING, not even  KEY RING OR POST CARD!!! Seriously, that is my proudest achievement of the month so far!!

So, thats my first blog update for my month of BUYING NOTHING NEW, not to late to sign up!! can YOU do it??