And they all lived happily ever after…

Wow, so this is it then.

The last official blog post of My Make Do and Mend Year.

365 days, 368 posts, 17.5k tweets (Really? Is that even possible? Have I spent the last year constantly tweeting? Oh yes. Pretty much…) and 3,832 follower of various descriptions.

I have to confess to being at a bit of a loss for what to say, how to sum up the whole year in one post, without it turning into an Oscar speech. And I feel under pressure to make it in someway profound..

So, to start, I am going to interview myself, posing some of most frequently asked questions I have encountered in the last few weeks…

Q. Are you going on a massive spending spree tomorrow?

A. No. I guess we all know somewhere at the back of our minds, that fast fashion and the consumerism of the Western world is a Bad Thing, but I for one, always managed to conveniently forget that when we *needed* something pre MMDAMY. Now I don’t feel that I could go back to the sort of mindless consuming we used to do.

Q. What will be the first New thing you will buy?

A. Pants. Or maybe a bra (although have yet to find anything bra-wise from an ethical manufacturer that I like)

Q. Hardest thing?

A. Christmas was inevitably hard work, and then probably trying to find some boots (read Bloody Boots if you have no idea what I’m on about…!) But actually, the whole year has been far easier than I thought it would be.

Q. What have you missed most?

A. As shallow as it sounds, magazines. I was pretty addicted to all those lovely craft magazines like Mollie Makes, but I am not sure if I will go back to buying them. Maybe the download version? Is that more sustainable…?!

Q. What next?

A. I honestly don’t know. A break from blogging for a bit. I am all blogged out for now. But I will carry on Making Do and Mending, and buying nothing new, and I will continue to blog, after a break! My book proposal and 2 sample chapters are written, and have been e-mailed to a couple of people, so watch this space…!

Last night I went to watch The Clean Bin Project, about a brilliant couple who spent a year buying NOTHING (not just nothing new) and throwing nothing away too. It is a fabulous film, funny and accessible and it gets it’s message across without preaching. Β It made me question whether by *only* buying nothing new, I have done enough or really achieved anything. But I was chatting to Jen (of Clean Bin Project fame. Yes, I hang with film stars…) and she commented that buying secondhand was something that was achievable for everyone. And I hope that is what I have managed to convey with the blog. Buying secondhand takes you out of the Supply and Demand chains for fast fashion and cheap consumer goods. It removes the instant fix of buying something new to replace something that is broken or tired, as it inevitably takes a bit more time and effort to find what you want, so it makes you much more mindful of what you really need/want. It forces you to be a more ethical consumer. And it is EASY!

The year has not been one of deprivation, and scrimping and going without.

It has been a year of creativity and challenges, and has pushed me out of my comfort zone. And it has, above all else, been FUN!

My aim has always been to inspire, to show people how easy it can be. That you can make small, achievable steps that make a difference, Β and that just by taking one small step, it Β empowers you to take one more, and one more after that.

The take home message for me is that this, this blog, this life even, is all about taking responsibility for the choices that we make.

If you want cheap clothes more than you want a world where someone else’s child hasn’t had to work in a sweatshop to make them for you; if you want the latest phone/computer/gadget more than you want a planet that has some resources left for the next generation; if you can’t be bothered to do your recycling and don’t care that we are running out of landfill or that there is now more plastic in our oceans than there is plankton, then go ahead.

But just know that you are making a choice that has consequences. Not just for you, but for every other person on this planet. And for the generations to come.

I know I keep saying this, but an individuals, we can only do what we can do. Never mind what everyone else is or isn’t doing. That is their business, their life, and their choices.

I have made my choice. I want my kids to be able to enjoy the same quality of life that I have. I don’t know if that is possible with the way the planet is headed. But I have made my choice to do all that I can. And then one more thing.

I hope you have all enjoyed reading. I hope that maybe even a few of you will have been inspired to make some changes in your own lives to make them more sustainable, to consume more mindfully. That is all I want. I am not expecting everyone to go out and buy nothing new ever again, but just to hopefully be more mindful consumers.

Thankyou so much for reading, for leaving comments, for spurring me on, for supporting me (and well dome if you have made it to the end of this mammoth post!)

The End.


70 thoughts on “And they all lived happily ever after…

  1. Oh Gosh…I didn’t realise that was going to be it …never mind…congratulations on a fantastic years effort…and all that blogging too. Im sure you will have made some people stop and think… blogs like yours, AYearWithoutSupermarkets, 1940sExperiment and AGirlCalledJack have all impacted on my thoughts about food and what I buy and I have made some lovely online friends in the process as Im sure you have too. Enjoy your retirement,,,but I rather feel that life will never be the same for you again.

  2. Well done Jen and all the family for your blogs, and inspiration. I hope that more people will think about what they use, where it comes from and how they dispose of “stuff”. Have a lovely rest from the blog and hope to see you back here when you’re ready!

  3. Massive congratulations Jen on an inspiring year. You have really made me think about the choices I make for my family and I have loved reading your blog. Keep up the good work! X

  4. OH NO! It surely can’t be over just yet!? I’m sure you’re breathing a sigh of relief but I shall miss you. It has been wonderful reading all of your ingenious ideas and revamps….I’m not yet completely cured by a long mile….but I am thinking differently. When I buy something new it has to be of the quality variety with room to mend when the time comes and I have also purchased a wonderful old desk for my daughter, something I would never have done before. Less and less leaves this house without a new home or purpose.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you….enjoy your rest…and see you soon xxx

  5. Thank you! You have inspired me and definitely made me think about my spending habits. I also read and found myself nodding in agreement over the giving of pointless gifts just because its expected. I’ve made changes myself and will not forget your year – so again thank you x

  6. Very well done, you’ve been an inspiration, you’ve made me laugh and you’ve made me think. Although I’ve been making do and mending for years (born just after WW2), it is wonderful to see the younger generation sitting up and taking notice. If we all work together, if your blog has changed even one person’s way of life (I’m sure it’s done a lot more than that), then it will eventually make a difference. Let’s just hope it’s not too late for the planet!

  7. yeah to you….I only found you a few weeks ago, wish I was there for the whole journey. Well done and I take inspiration from you for my mrs mummypenny work of saving money for everyone. Keep going…..publish your blogs into a book, i’ll buy it:-) I’ll post this last blog to my mummypenny fans will love it πŸ™‚

  8. Well done Jen, you should be proud of yourself for all you have achieved this year. If everyone did just a bit along the way to help save our planet then it will have been worth it. You might have made some people change the way they live their life, which is fantastic, and maybe just edged a few more along towards being more ethical, which is a grand start. Either way it has been a pleasure reading, and laughing at your family blog, and I for one will certainly buy your book! Best wishes to you all.

  9. Jen I will miss you ,you have been like a friend who comes round to cheer you up.
    We live in shelterd housing and three of us have so enjoyed your blog,the girls will be
    so sad when I tell them in the morning.Good luck and love to all the boys.

  10. If you ever wonder if it was worth it and if you made a difference, come back to this page and read the comments πŸ™‚

    I was going to write one last long reply, but…well done! I thought I was pretty ‘green’, but you’ve made me think that actually I have more opportunities to buy used than I thought. Or at least I don’t need to rush in to purchasing things, which gives me more chance to buy something second hand.

    I’m glad you’re going to come back to blogging after a break- we’ll be waiting!

    Thanks Jen!

    • Hi Hazel
      I know, such wonderful comments. Making me really sad it’s finished.
      Thankyou for all your support and comments and keep up the good work!

  11. Wow, It feels like the year has gone so quickly (for us readers anyway). Its been wonderful to share the journey with you, youve been an inspiration to lots of us. Im loking forward to your next adventure. Take a lovely break (you deserve it) and give yourself (and your OH) a huge pat on the back, youve done brilliantly, then possibly go out and get yourself a (new!) washing basket! :o)

    • The washing basket is still alive and kicking..!
      Thanks Jo. It’s been a fabulous year, a wonderful journey, and I’ve met so many brilliant, inspirational people along the way.
      Thankyou for all your support, and your great guest blogs!

  12. Pingback: And they all lived happily ever after… | celebrationcanvasart

  13. I was late to your party, but you’ve been so inspiring to me over the last few months – you speak straight to my heart!
    I do lots of making and diy-ing and growing and cooking from scratch but you’ve reminded me why I do it and why it’s important and actually super exciting, to try to do more!
    Thank you heaps. Fingers crossed for the book X

  14. Can’t believe it’s the end (well sort of) – hope you do continue to blog in some way and look forward to the book. You have been an inspiration (must let you know about the Repair Cafe who have inspired me to set up) – hope all goes well with school, family etc

  15. Phew – thought I’d never scroll down to the end of all those lovely comments! Loved reading it, even though I only picked up on it half way through – it’s been fabulous to see how you’ve managed and worked around things.
    Looking forward to the next adventure already – don’t make that sabbatical TOO long, will you? We’ll miss you! xx

  16. Typical I have only just found your blog and now your finished grr. Well never mind I shall enjoy reading through it right from the start to the end, can’t wait. Good luck with the future Pene x

  17. Woohoo! Congratulations! I only discovered your lovely blog a few months after the start but I’ve really enjoyed reading all about everything you’ve done. Plus you’ve created a great eco money-saving resource for the future! πŸ™‚
    Keep us updated when the book’s coming out, and I might see you sometime in Warminster! πŸ™‚ x

    • That would be great Louisa. Are you coming the Repair Cafe-14th Sept, Warminster Library, 10am-1pm, or the next Swish-18th Oct, The Organ Inn, 7-9pm!
      And we are re-starting our crafting evenings on the 2nd Monday of the month-first one this Monday (9th Sept) at the Organ Inn, 7-9pm
      πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  18. Oh my goodness that went quick! Well maybe not as quick for you though..:)

    Anyway well done – have really enjoyed reading your posts, and huge congrats to you for making it to the end!

  19. Thanks for sharing you year Jen. I have been reminded by you again and again that there is an alternative to running out to the shops. Thanks, and all the best for your book!

  20. I’m late, as always but I wanted to say a massive CONGRATULATIONS. you deserve a long break from the blog but am I allowed to say that we’ll miss you?! Come back to us, in some shape or form, soon. Hx

  21. Pingback: The Year that Was | My Make Do and Mend Year

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