Thursday, June 13, 2013

MINIMALIST: How to get through a shopping ban with heylilahey

I feel very excited about this post! It is our first 'feature' on i give 2 hoots! and it showcases some Berlin local talent. Mia is a fantastic fashion blogger from heylilahey who has successfully self imposed a 6 month shopping ban on herself. She is nearing to the end of the ban and she is still going strong with less then a month to go! We caught up with her here in Berlin a few months back to get some tips and advice with regards to her shopping restrictions.

Mia                                                                                                     Photos: Michael Dooney

images from


What  inspired your clothing ban?
For a while already I was trying to buy less and shop more consciously and save some money to buy high quality pieces instead of many pieces by H&M & Zara. But it never worked and I wasn't happy at all with my shopping behavior.
I thought this ban could be good for my soul, my style, my creativity and of course for my wallet. And I have to be honest, the whole sustainability and environment friendly thought about this whole project came later, but now I am proud that I am not buying non-recycable plastic handbags and shoes every week. 

How is the ban going so far?

I am now over 3 months already and the 4th month will be over soon, too, as I am super busy lately. It is going pretty well actually. I have not been shopping at all. The only items that I had to buy were new sport shoes (my old ones were just too worn out) and business pants and a business handbag for a job interview, that I won't wear in my private life until July though.

Is it more or less difficult then you had initially intended?
It has been pretty succesful so far and not too hard as I just had more time, money and thought for more important things in life, like thinking about my career, meeting with friends, eating out, working out regularly, travel, etc. However I think it will get really really hard now in May and June when it gets warmer, as I LOVE shopping for summer clothes.

What have your learnt about yourself & the fashion industry through the experience?
It sounds cheezy but I learned that there are better things that can make you happy than new clothes. Before I was an emotional shopper, as I often purchased new items to feel better after a stressful day. Now I just do sport, meet with friends or cook myself a really yummy dinner.
I am also being more creative at putting together my outfits lately and stepping out of my comfort zone.
But I also realize even more now how people in fashion want to see and have new items, new things, new clothes, new shoes every day, and please for a cheap price and a great design! It is also crazy to hear when people say that they could not do something like that even for a month. 

Any encouraging words for those who also want to slow down on their purchasing?
Doing this will only do you good. Just stay away from it for a while like me, give yourself a month or so of no shopping at all, like going cold turkey. I tried to do the 1 item per week rule, but it just didn't work for me and other friends had problems with that, too. In that time of no shopping really assess your wardrobe and wear everything that you haven't worn yet or only once, even if you have to create completely new outfits out of your comfort zone. Stepping out of your comfort zone is always a great experience.
Also during this ban you will realize what you really need and afterwards you will have saved up some money and buy your most craved for item, let's say a pink handbag, in higher quality. These are just my tips. I would be happy if you tried it and shared your experience with me.

Mia                                                                                                     Photos: Michael Dooney

 Track Mia's last few weeks of the ban on heylilahey

Would you be able to buy no clothes for 6 months? 


  1. I haven't bought any new clothes for the past 4 months or so (except underwear). It wasn't really a conscious decision, I just decided that if I need something I can make it myself and that I have more than enough clothes in my closet to wear something clean everyday.
    I did however just wear out my last pair of jeans, so I will probably be replacing those. I will go for a quality pair of jeans that fit me well, and that will last me a long time. I also don't buy clothes or shoes that are not made in the EU, as to make sure that the people making those clothes are paid proper wages and work in safe conditions. I will continue on this path I have chosen. I will not not buy anything but I definitely don't buy clothes anymore just because I have the opportunity... I love this way of thinking about my clothes, it makes me more conscious of what I really need and what I really want to wear instead of just following the heard and jumping on every trend out there. I am also trying to incorporate this line of thinking in my entire consumer behaviour, supporting small local stores instead of big companies, etc.
    It also makes me really happy that there are more and more people approaching clothing and consumerism in this way, because in moderation, we can sustain our lives and planet, not in excess consumerism...

    1. Very wisely put Wendy. It sounds like you are making a heap of informed decisions. Good luck and I hope you find the perfect pair of jeans:)

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