The Handbook
The Handbook

If you’re looking for a New Year resolution but Veganism and Dry January are out of the question, then there is one other detox you could try, it’s called the financial diet. The one where you abstain from shopping and buying non-essential things like clothes and make-up for a month.

Laura Chouette, Unsplash

Sounds simple, right? We’re in lockdown until the end of February (at least!), so what could we possibly need by way of new clothes and beauty products? Plus we’ve been practically banned from shopping all but essentials. Just forego the deli runs, and make your own latte. Avoid purchasing new clothes, because you’re not going out. And as for make-up? Well, maybe it’s time to detox your skin, too? 

A financial detox is great for your bank balance, meaning you could recover from Christmas sooner than you think. It’s unarguably good for the environment – the fashion industry is considered the second largest polluter in the world and there’s a huge movement towards pre-loved, swapping and renting as well as simply reinventing what you already have. It’s intuitive and admirable. And obviously less time doom-scrolling (it’s a pandemic thing) will allow more time for other mind-enriching activities like reading.

While No Buy January might be all the rage, is it really that easy? The problem is, like a large glass of perfectly chilled Chablis, having nice things makes us feel tremendously good. And unfortunately, we’re limited by how we achieve that gratification these days.

So, even though I intended to advise on the current trend for financial diets, I’ve found myself doing a U-turn (cringing at the Boris reference here) mid article, I can’t tell you not to shop when it’s all I really want to do.

Besides, consumerism has been my go-to therapy in times of stress, despair, bad news and break-ups. The momentary mental charge of endorphins that comes with a lacquered red sole and some calf-skin quilting is very real. For me, anyway. And right now, I feel like I’ve been properly dumped. Boris, being the bad boyfriend that has strung me along, given me false hope, and let me down. Time, and time, again. I even find myself making excuses for him. It’s been a 10 month emotional rollercoaster and I’m feeling defeated. I need that Chanel-sized pick-me-up. 

You might consider it careless, when we’re living through such trying times, but I’m calling it self care. When you can’t rely on anything else, shopping is optimism. Something to look forward to – basically, a perfectly legal high. 

The end is in sight, so we just need to survive until March, right?! The gratitude of a great purchase can easily outlive lockdown. Besides, attempting to suppress Covid has taken enough of our liberties, and I’m feeling incredibly defensive over whatever I have left.

I’ll be buying less, and choosing well because that’s an environmentally friendly approach. And while my spending might be slightly loose, I will be filled with joy – and that really is the currency to covet in this pandemic.

Photo by Najla Cam, Unsplash

So if, like me, you do feel compelled to shop this month – because your happiness hinges on it – then I’ve rounded up some easy-on-the-conscience buys below. From the keep-forever Chanel bag (yes, it’s super spenny), to the best from sustainable brands, here’s a few suggestions to get you on the right track.

"It is absolutely true that Chanel bags never lose their value. Besides, they're timeless heirlooms that are passed through generations, so once you have one, you'll never let it go."

19 Large Flap Bag, £4,590

Reformation Fran Lace Panelled Midi Dress

A little black dress is timeless and Reformation is a brand with sustainability at the core of everything they do - from recycled paper hangers, to sustainable fabrics and tree-planting.

Price: £300

OtiumbergSmall Yellow Gold Diamond Huggie Hoop

This London based brand is underpinned by long-lasting style. They also use recycled gold. There are 8 brilliant cut diamond stones in a pavé setting on this 9-karat solid yellow gold hoop.

Price: £215

Mother of Pearl Blake oversized Checked Organic Cotton & Wool Cardigan

Mother of Pearl is a contemporary, luxury British womenswear brand. Their values include only using organic materials, ensuring a transparent supply chain and social responsibility as well as respect to animals.

Price: £395

TopshopCONSIDERED Washed Black Straight Jeans

Topshop's Considered collection is designed with lower-impact materials, eco-friendly production methods and certified suppliers. These jeans are a perfect fit, too.

Price: £40

Everlane The Puff Sweater

Only working with ethical factories, Everlane offer what they call 'radical transparency'. They reveal the true costs behind all of their products, from materials to labour to transportation, and all prices are sans traditional retail markup.

Price: £105

Veja Campo Trainers

Veja is a French company with a strong focus on transparency, fair trade and social and environmental responsibility. Veja sources natural rubber directly from the Amazon rainforest to save on water, energy and harmful emissions.

Price: £115

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