When I decided to buy nothing brand new last year, I was expecting to become a regular patron of the local op shops as my kids grew out of their clothes. I have been really lucky on a couple of occasions to find exactly what I was looking for (once I walked into an op shop specifically looking for a Bob the Builder raincoat for my 3yo son, and couldn't believe my eyes when there was an almost new size 4 Bob the Builder raincoat on the rack!), but more often than not, I would walk out empty handed (I'm not much of an impulse shopper, I tend to only go shopping for specific things I need).
However, my need to visit the op shops has been minimal, thanks to some very kind new friends. We moved to this town when my twins were one week old. As you can probably imagine, arriving in town with two newborns, a 19 month old toddler, and a 4 year old pre-schooler was not easy and our social life was virtually non-existent for the first year or two. So last year, when the twins turned two, I felt I was ready to join the local playgroup. I'm so glad I did, as it has been a wonderful opportunity for both myself and the kids to form some really lovely friendships. The other mums made me feel so welcome and I look forward to these friendships in the years to come.
Oops, I've gone off on a bit of a tangent there...now back to the point! I happened to mention to some of the mums at playgroup last year that I had committed to the buy nothing brand new challenge as my own personal protest against consumerism. Their level of interest in part motivated me to eventually start this blog. They were so supportive, in fact, that I have been on the receiving end of bags and bags of clothes and goodies - things that their own children had grown out of and no longer needed. They seemed to be so pleased to have someone to give these things to and were motivated to clean out their cupboards. And I, of course, was over the moon to be on the receiving end of it all. Most of the things were boys clothes, which was exactly what I really needed, but I've also been given bikes, a helmet, shoes, hats, school uniforms, pyjamas, and coats. And the bags of things keep coming, even though my buy nothing brand new thing is officially over. Now all I need is to find someone that I can pass all my things onto when my kids outgrow them (fortunately we have a childcare centre around the corner who have been happy to take the toys and baby items we no longer need, so that's a good start)!
Here is a pic of just a handful of items that have been given to me:
In addition to all of that, I am also very lucky to have discovered that another mum from my daughter's school, Christine, shares a similar interest in back to basics and sustainable living. I happened to have seen some beautiful soaps that Christine had made for another friend, and soon after I commented to Christine about how lovely they were, I was in possession of some of the delicious bars myself! Christine has written about her soap making (among other things) on her fabulous blog, Slow Living Essentials. Thank you, Christine, for your generosity :-)
Here is a pic of a couple of the bars she gave to me most recently:
Now this is what I think living in a community should be all about!