It’s coming up for six months since I started my postgraduate studies. One of the things that I’ve been challenged to think about more by having lots of conversations with my classmates is my politics, my eating and spending habits.
So I decided to try an experiment during Lent.
For Lent I’m ‘going indie’. I’m not a huge fan of rules, so I’m going to call these guidelines. But this is what I’m doing to challenge myself in where I spend my money…
1. I’m only allowed to visit a supermarket once a week, and only to buy ‘normal’ groceries. This means food, cleaning products and so on.
This rule may have to be bent slightly if I can’t find Leonardo the Teenage Mutant Hero Turtle in a toy shop and it turns out to be available to buy in a supermarket. (He’s Elastaboy’s favourite turtle and I’m trying to get him one for his birthday).
2. During the week I can only buy food and snacks in Independent places.
This means no popping into the ‘Tesco Express’ or ‘Sainsburys Local’. No Subway either. And definitely no Costa or Starbucks. This could make the mornings I don’t manage to get up in time to make breakfast slightly more interesting…
3. No shopping online when there is an in-person option.
Books will be bought in bookshops. Because I don’t want bookshops to close down. CDs and DVDs will be bought in shops too for much the same reason. Clothes will be bought in shops. Birthday presents will be bought in shops.
4. If there’s a fairtrade option, only that can be bought.
Even when Lindt chocolate is on offer in Sainsbury’s.
5. Trying to avoid the corporate brands and go for the indie ones.
I will confess that I spent some money in TopShop at the weekend because I needed new pants (Gok Wan would totally throw out the contents of my underwear drawer. Especially as our washing machine seems to enjoy putting holes in my clothes at the moment). However they are noted as a FairTrade clothing company by the Fairtrade Foundation. So I guess better them than H&M?
But I will be endeavouring to go to more locally owned places. Like my favourite Indie clothing shop, Cookie.
6. Hello indie cinemas.
Sorry Cineworld, Odeon and Vue. I will not be visiting you with your overpriced popcorn and masses of really crappy films. Hello cinemas that are supporting and showing more independent films and documentaries!
So they are my aims for the moment. My hope is to encourage places trying to keep it local/ethical/fairly traded! Have you got any advice for how I can keep going indie?