Do I have enough shoes? My ethical consumer journey 7

imageTowels falling out of the linen cupboard, piles of books lacing our spare room, wardrobes overflowing and don’t even get me started on my children’s toys.

I am so over stuff. We have piles and piles of things that never get used. We recently shifted house and it overwhelmed us how many boxes we needed to move from one house to another.

Culling is a part of my everyday life, but still have to remind myself most days, “Amanda, you have enough stuff”

Instagram tempts,
Television demands,
The school yard compares,
We have enough.

Recently I spent time with the most interesting woman from Arnhem Land in Australia. She is a missionary to this region, who spends her days looking after pilots and their wives. These families travel out to the most isolated places in our vast, wide orange land.

We were driving around together in Darwin chatting away about life, when randomly we started talking about shoes. Just as women do. She said to me, I only have two pairs of shoes. Where we live there are no shops and I have worked out I don’t need much more than this.

Just two pairs of shoes.

My mind tumbled.

It reminded me of my recent trip to Nepal and I sat with a woman in the dusty far off rural places. I looked down at her sandals and she had fixed them with a random piece of string. They were her only pair of shoes.

I have a whole bucket full. I have so many shoes that I could wear a different pair every day for two weeks and still have more lying in my cupboard.

My problem is not culling, my problem is buying and my greatest tripping cord is a good old sale. It is like I am drawn to a discount sign, like a moth to a flame. If a deal is offered, I am the first at the front of the queue, card in hand.

Even when I don’t need another pair of shoes, cardigan, plate, pillow case, the words fifty percent off, get me racing.

I am a sale sign junkie.

Recently I have been trying to implement these three simple principles into my home.

1) every time I buy something, something has to go.

Each and every time I buy anything, kids clothes and toys included, something else has to go. Something in the house, something has to be given away.

2) less stuff but better quality.

I have been trying to ignore sales and look for quality. Even better when something of good quality goes on sale. What if I bought less, but spent my money on better quality items seasonally? This has been my new mantra.

3) Spend more on ethical products.

I have been looking where something is made, so rather than just buying something because it is cheap, I buy from suppliers that trade ethically. This simple guide from Baptist World Australia has also been an amazing tool in helping me find suppliers and shops that are ethical in their consumer practice. A great tool is their website Behind The Barcode.

These three simple principles have been my consuming my shopping life.

How about you do you have enough shoes?

Are you sick of having so much stuff?

What are your tips to living a more stream lined and simpler consumer lifestyle?

Comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

See ya soon


About Amanda

Amanda Viviers has published ten books and is a presenter on radio across New Zealand and Australia. She is also the co-founder of Kinwomen; a network created to inspire women to start conversations that matter. Head of Narrative for Compassion Australia, she is driven by a passion for social justice, she loves supporting projects for women in developing countries. Teaching women to live creative lives, beyond the circumstances, is something she pursues daily. Wife of Charl and Mum of Maximus and Liberty, she lives a creative life, longing to see people live inspired. Pinterest/ Twitter/ @Mandaviviers Instagram: @amandaviviers Facebook: @amandaviviersperth

7 thoughts on “Do I have enough shoes? My ethical consumer journey

  • Jennie Kriwopischin

    It’s so so so true Amanda. I think if we gave away 80% of our current stuff we would still be blessed with much more than enough. May God help us to learn what is enough and spend our money on what is important, to shop wisely, ethically and be more generous. Bless you Amanda x

    • Amanda Post author

      Yes lovely Jennie, how crazy is it even though we have so much, we stand at our wardrobe and say I have nothing to wear?

  • Dayle

    Oh boy Amanda, I am hearing you loud and clear on this one. I got so bad that I even took it a step further. Now, if I buy something new (or not so new), no longer does one thing need to go, now I have to part with 3 things. I recently got rid of 2 boot loads of “stuff” and was appalled that it barely made a dent. It’s a process and like a beautiful friend reminded me once, “baby steps”.

    • Amanda Post author

      baby steps, yes indeed. But little by little by little change is on its way

  • Surine Louw

    Thanks so much for this eye opener.

    This article was written for me…
    I can’t contain myself when I see a sale sign.

    Even worse, online shopping. It is my biggest downfall. Especially kids clothes and shoes!

    God Bless xx

    • Amanda Post author

      Hey Surine,

      I am exactly the same. It is such a challenge, but such a worthy conversation.

      God bless as well


  • Jodie McCarthy

    Such a huge issue. Thank you for giving some practical tips, as often it is easier to get overwhelmed and throw my hands up in the air and do nothing.

    And yes I have enough shoes (ouch!)

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