Warning: This is pretty much a shopping haul post that runs completely counter to the ethos of buying less and living sustainably. Think of it as a confessional and I hope the Mother Earth absolves me of my sins.
What is an avid thrifter to do during a time of quarantine? Once all stores closed, I kissed my New Year’s resolution to only buy secondhand goodbye. So much for a year of sustainable shopping. No more thrift stores, no more reusable bags, straws are back en vogue since you can’t put your mouth on something someone else has touched, and just like so many other aspects of my life, I had to figure out a new normal. Instead of purchasing pre-loved items, I decided to buy only things I really need--the true necessities in life, like a pair of gold Cole Haan limited edition boots with tiny hearts on them. I bought them even though Marly tried to talk me out of it because I had a dream about them, and that dream was much better than the COVID nightmares that I had been having. I somehow managed to classify the boots as essential even though I’ve only worn tennis shoes and slides for the past month. Clearly I’ve spiralled out of control and have no understanding of the meaning of “essential”. Like no concept.
Obviously I don’t need any new clothes. I don’t even want to wear real clothes. I just want to wear athleisure, so that became crucial alongside non-underwire bras. My first few purchases kept Lululemon in business. I filled my online cart with olive colored joggers, velour leggings, and bras marketed to people who hate wearing bras. Bras for the type of women who take off their bra as soon as they come home--but what are we to do now that we are always home? Obviously--buy this bra marketed to me. Technically these items did not break my resolution because I was allowed to buy new undergarments and workout clothes, but these purchases were teetering on the line considering I haven’t been working out in these pants--I’ve been living in them. I also have “invested” in items from Splendid’s Supersoft line--specifically an adorable ombre cropped sweater that cost way too much money even though it was 40% off. It is like wearing a hug, and we all know hugs are hard to come by these days.
My arsenal of stretchy pants has continued to grow over the quarantine and seems to follow the trends of whatever I’m watching on TV. After barreling through Tiger King, I found the number of feline-inspired items shipped to my doorstep increased tenfold. The most ridiculous purchase you ask? A pair of nola yoga leggings featuring a metallic, magenta tiger pattern. I get a special joy from wearing them on webex calls. It is my own little secret. They are one step bolder than the multiple pairs of leopard print joggers I’ve purchased (one in gray, and one in traditional leopard). I even bought a snow leopard print silk pillowcase sleeve in an effort to prevent wrinkles while sleeping, because we all need a little self care right now, especially since I have to see my own face on the virtual calls.
I like to call these purchases my Marie Kondo items since they all bring me a lot of joy. But there has been a dark side to my online consumerism--the stress purchases I’ve made directly after reading the news. One of these items is an iPhone sanitizing machine. In just 3 minutes the UV light cleans my phone and it is also a phone charger! 100% of the proceeds went to combatting COVID-19, so it felt like a bit of a win-win. I’ve gone rogue and also use it for my keys and facemask, because well...why not? I also bought a pair of antimicrobial gloves (which I can’t bring myself to wear since it is too hot), a few 3M air filters (so that I can make a DIY N-95 mask if things get desperate), and the ingredients to make hand sanitizer (aloe + alcohol + essential oils).
Is there a silver lining to all this stress induced consumerism? Probably not. But in the spirit of optimism, I’ve got to say that the run on cleaning supplies like paper towels has compelled me to switch to cloth napkins and “unpaper” towels. It kind of makes me feel fancy to serve lunch and dinner with formal napkins even though I’m wearing pajamas.
This quarantine has also turned me into my mother because I’ve become a total plant lady. Perhaps it was always in my DNA to turn into a lover of plants, but I really think it is because one of the only stores I go to is ACE hardware, and when I went in for batteries--I walked out with a ton of plants. I’ve recently been into acquiring as many pink plants as possible in addition to trying my hand at my very own victory garden--I’ve planted loquat and avocado seeds, started growing basil and even regrowing the organic celery I purchased at Gwen. I am now attempting to propagate succulents so I can stop buying them. Our city balcony is looking a bit Babylonian and I’m into it. Since we’ve been spending so much time indoors, I’ve been trying to find plants that purify the air and combat all the home smog caused by all our cooking. I’ve also bought a lavender plant for our bedroom as I’ve read that it has calming properties. Per Pinterest, which has become my DIY bible of late, lavender dramatically improves sleep, reduces anxiety, depression and panic attacks. As I sleep nestled between my Silked pillow sleeve and my lavender plant, I may just wake up one of these mornings feeling like my pre-quarantine self.