I'm going to stop buying stuff. I know, I know, I said this before and then a few months in I was right back to getting new things every week. The thing is I was very confused by, and I believe addicted to, consumption.
First of all, I run a vegan beauty brand that encourages consumption, or at the very least replacing your products with ones that are vegan and cruelty-free. I had this conflict even before I started Velvet Report: on the one hand, I love luxury vegan beauty and fashion items and I want to encourage conscious consumption. On the other hand, I feel like I'm a part of consumer culture that encourages people to buy more stuff that they don't necessarily need. And I feel bad about that.
I don't want you to feel like you have to buy something from Velvet Report to have a connection with me. I have absolutely loved connecting with you on Instagram, YouTube, emails, in person, etc. Yes, over vegan beauty, but also over getting to know each other's personalities, daily lives, and families. It's these connections that I cherish, not the stuff. I created Velvet Report to connect with others who care about animals and the environment. And yes, I wanted to create and share luxury vegan beauty products, but that's not what I want the core of Velvet Report to be about.
I feel like I need to do something radical to make this shift. As long as I am buying new things, I am on the constant hunt for what's new, what I "need", etc. and that takes away from my time and energy to be creative and to truly connect with you. I do love fashion and beauty and that's probably always going to be that way. But I also love animals, the environment, and humans. I feel like this constant "buy, buy, buy" culture that we are promoting on Instagram and YouTube (myself included) is damaging. It's damaging to people's self-esteems, bank accounts, and sense of selves. We are more than our products.
Starting today, I'm on a 1-year no buy (yes, I'm doing this again. Ugh!). My hope is that this will inspire me to create more, connect more, and provide more value to you rather than spending countless hours on shopping behavior. I'll still be posting (I have a lot of beauty products to get creative with) on Instagram, the blog, and YouTube. I hope that this journey can be insightful to us all.
The Rules (a.k.a what I won't be buying)
1. Clothing - I don't have a ton of clothing but I have everything that I need. If I do end up needing anything this year, I will be looking at vintage shops only.
2. Beauty - I definitely have enough makeup, skincare, and haircare products to last me a year or longer. I'm looking forward to getting creative with my looks!
3. Candles - Yes, this is a separate category for me. I love candles so much (maybe I'll make a Velvet Report one someday) but I'm not going to buy any for the next year.
4. Manis, Pedis, & Massages - This is another indulgence that I enjoy but I don't need. I'll only be getting a manicure if it's a social thing, not on my own.
5. Electronics - No new computers, phones, cameras, etc. This is a hard one for me because I'm always thinking that new technology will help with my creativity. It won't.
What I'll Still be Buying
1. Books - I like to buy books to read and then keep in my library. I don't buy a ton of books but I do like to own certain books so that I can pass them on to friends and family when I finish or keep to read again later.
2. Hair appointments - I really, really enjoy getting my hair done. Also with super long hair, it's hard to maintain myself, so I'm going to keep getting my hair done professionally.
3. Business + hobbies - I will keep buying things related to running Velvet Report and continuing my acting hobby. But the difference will be that I won't be buying new beauty and fashion products to promote on Velvet Report.
4. Events - I enjoy the social aspect of networking events so I'll keep going to the ones that feel like a good fit for me.
5. Travel - My husband and I enjoy traveling and I feel very lucky that we are able to do so. I will just be bringing back memories and no souvenirs.
Photo by Jenna Lynn Photography