Not buying clothes for six months: for those who love fashion, it may sound like an impossible task.

Still, there are enthusiasts who try it from January to July this year.

And it provides you with the necessary, such as insights about your buying behavior and appreciation for what you already have.

Plus, of course, the money you spent on it.

Buying clothes is easier than ever because of the enormous range of online stores.

That way you can throw a pair of pants in your basket without thinking.

Also include a T-shirt to avoid having to pay shipping costs.

You almost forgot your purchase when suddenly the delivery person is at the door.


Then a clothing diet can help, such as The No Buy Challenge by Marieke van den Berg and Sara Dubbeldam.

Until July, they don't buy anything, and they call on their Instagram page's nearly 6,000 followers to do the same.

Every month they offer tips: from cleaning up to exchanging and appreciating what you have.

In the spring you learn to deal with the buying incentives through all the spring collections that fly around your ears.

"If you buy clothes to compensate for when you feel bad, a challenge can show you that there are alternatives."

Olaf Simonse, Money Wise

The two initiators did it themselves, and got to talk about it during a recording about more sustainable living for

The Green Girls Club Podcast

by Van den Berg.

"I didn't buy anything in 2019 - including accessories," she says.

"I even did a year with the same rubber bands, while I normally often lost them. I still rarely lose them. It's a small example, but it shows how such a challenge can change your mindset."

Not after six months in the store

Not stocking your closet for a while can also have a big effect on your finances.

According to the most recent figures from Statistics Netherlands (CBS), the Dutch spend an average of € 1,591 on clothing and shoes every year.

Not buying clothes for six months already yields considerable savings.

The long-term effect of challenges has not been investigated, says Olaf Simonse of Money Wise.

"And I wonder whether six months is long enough to change your behavior. You can also just after six months think: I've finished the challenge, now I'm going to find a new wardrobe."

It also matters what you do not buy.

"People who get coffee every day at the station and want to stop doing that, can simply avoid the coffee shop. Buying clothes is less common, the amount you spend differs per month and you often have an unnoticed pattern. behavior more difficult to sustain. "

However, saying your goal out loud and sharing it is a good way to continue.

And the tips in between also contribute, according to Simonse.

"This encourages people to look at clothing in a different way, which can help in the longer term."

This works better for some people than for others.

"When fashion is your hobby, it's more difficult, but if you usually buy clothes often to compensate for when you feel down, a challenge can help you see that there are alternatives."

How do you ensure that your saved money does not drain away?

  • Calculate how much you normally spend on clothing, for example, and put that money aside.

    Simonse: "For example, start saving for something and create a pot for it in your savings account with a clear name of your goal. This makes the psychological threshold higher, otherwise you will spend it more easily."

'People consume themselves by accident'

The idea of ​​The No Buy Challenge is certainly not new, Van den Berg emphasizes, but she never saw it before in the Netherlands for clothing.

High time, she thinks.

"We live in a world where our hunger for buying is stimulated everywhere. Despite the sustainable transition, people consume themselves by accident. Buying less or nothing is really underexposed when it comes to sustainability."

The initiative must pay attention to this, hopefully with lasting effect.

"It is also intended as a training in satisfaction."

“You can fix what is broken.

You can also make a hole in your sock. ”

Marieke van den Berg, initiator The No Buy Challenge

What are the rules of the game?

For example, are socks and underwear allowed?

"That question comes up more often," laughs Van den Berg.

"But no, neither. We want to invite people to really buy nothing. You can repair what is broken. You can also make a hole in your sock. By the way, exchanging is allowed, and that is recommended: it feels like you bought something new. And it's free! "

The initiator of the challenge herself paid less attention to the money she was left with.

"I noticed that, as a kind of compensation, I spent more on other things, such as organic food and better beauty products. Still I think I have certainly saved a few hundred euros, but that was not my point. participating in our challenge are more concerned with this. "

Tips from Dubbeldam and Van den Berg

  • Find a partner for the challenge so that you can help each other out and exchange clothes if necessary.

  • Also consider renting or borrowing as an alternative to buying.

  • Does six months sound like a long time?

    Then try to keep it up for three months and see how you feel.

    Who knows, you may still persevere.

  • However, the longer you do it, the better.

    Then you can change your habits structurally.

    "If you last a little longer, it becomes part of yourself."

  • Take good care of the clothes you already have.

    This ranges from paying attention to the correct settings of your washing machine to (having) repaired items of clothing.

    "If you handle your things better, you can enjoy them much longer."