2014 Shop Drop Challenge

silhouetted illustrated woman against pink background holding a bag from which hearts are emergingEditor’s Note: Check out the 2016 Shop Drop Challenge!

There are 160 million women in the United States. We spend about $60 each month on clothes, and we dump an average of six pounds of textiles into the landfill.

If we all stop buying new clothes for one month we could save nearly one billion pounds of textile waste and $10 billion. Mind-boggling.

I’ve been thrifting and swapping pretty much exclusively for a few years now. When I tell friends that I rarely buy any new clothes, they’re impressed—but they don’t think they can do it, too.

So this year, I’m challenging my friends and followers to stop buying any new clothing or accessories for the month of January 2014. Think of it as the perfect New Year’s resolution to save money and resources: We can buy used, thrift or swap, but we’re giving up the mall. It’s called the 30-Day Shop Drop Challenge. Will you join us?

It’s the perfect New Year’s resolution to save money and resources: Thrift or swap, but give up the mall.

All you have to do is:

  1. Sign up for the Mommy Greenest newsletter.
  2. Click the box to take the 30-Day Shop Drop Challenge.

Want to do more?

  1. Tweet your swap or thrift-store finds to me @rachellsarnoff.
  2. Post your swap or thrift-store finds on the Facebook.com/MommyGreenest page.
  3. Do you think this challenge will be easy or difficult for you—and why? Please share your comments below!

Update 12.18.13: Hey Shop Dropping friends! I’ve had some questions about the scope of this challenge. Remember, it’s just a shopping pause for YOU. This means if you have to buy something for someone else—your children or husband, etc—it doesn’t count! Also, since it would be totally gross to buy pre worn workout clothes, swimsuits or unmentionables, those new purchases are also exempt from the challenge. Okay? Okay!

Update 1.13.14: We just signed up our 500th Shop Drop Challenger! We’ve saved $30,000 and diverted 3,000 pounds of textile waste so far. You guys are AMAZING!!!!

And if you need even MORE incentive to get involved, follow the steps below to win one of TWO Mommy Greenest Shop Drop Tote bags, perfect for thrifting or swapping!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



  1. Such a cool idea! I’ll have to try this for the month of February. At the end of last year I took such a heap of clothes to the Good WIll store and did think a lot about the waste if it doesn’t get purchased. Thanks for continuing to make us aware of how to be greener!

    • Rachel Sarnoff says

      Awesome! We are just doing the Challenge for January, but the thrift donation is always awesome. You should check out the swap shop in LA too!

  2. I have been trying to do that for years now but I still have bad days sometimes. My mom doesn’t let me shop at used stores. So what do u think about going to places like Ross and Nordstrom Rack?

    • Rachel Sarnoff says

      Ross and Nordstrom Rack wouldn’t qualify as pre-worn, but if you wanted to try another way to thrift shop, maybe look online? I love I-Ella and my favorite thrift store here in Los Angeles also has an online shop now, http://www.TheClosetSB.net. I think also Wasteland and possibly Crossroads are online as well? Let me know how it goes. Thanks for commenting!

  3. $60 a month average – well here is something in which I am way above average. I’ve been on an extended closet purge and have been rather disgusted and shamed by the quantity of stuff I’ve had to get rid of. So here it is – I pledge not to buy anything new for myself for the month of January. But don’t blame me for any downturn in the economy.

    • Rachel Sarnoff says

      Yay! That is such great news! Did you sign up and click the Shop Drop box? If so, you’re all set! Now we just have to get you to Los Angeles for the launch party! 🙂

  4. screwdestiny says

    Great challenge! I get most of my new clothes from re-sale shops like Plato’s Closet. Also, my best friend and I clean out our closets once a year and make sure to let the other look through before donating it. So I guess I already have the thrift or swap part pretty much down. Maybe two or three times a year, I’ll actually splurge on a new item from an ethical clothing company, but those items are generally fairly expensive, so it’s not a common thing to get brand new clothing.

    Americans should also look at this and consider how privileged they are if they’re spending $60 EVERY MONTH, on average, on brand new clothes. I mean, what are we doing to our old clothing that’s making it necessary to buy so much, so consistently? Tossing it out because it’s gone out of style after 45 days? It’s actually rather easy to go months on end without purchasing new clothing when you already have clothing in your closet. It’s only the first world mindset that tells us we need something new every single month. Who wouldn’t want to change that mindset?

    • Rachel Sarnoff says

      I absolutely agree! Have you seen my “fast fashion” post? I think it’s right up your alley! Thanks for commenting!

  5. I’m in. Now where’s the post on the best places to thrift in LA?

  6. I’m going to give this a go.

    I am NOT happy about it.

  7. I didn’t realize the environmental impact of purchasing new clothes. I imagine stores that sell poorer quality garments are major offenders. I don’t know if I can do the 30 days, but perhaps I can make a commitment to buy less and more high-quality, lasting garments? Great post!

    • Rachel Sarnoff says

      Thanks Matt, and I love that we have a guy’s voice in the mix! I think that’s a great commitment to make, and if you want to try it out for January, sign up! No judgement!

  8. Wonderful idea, Rachel! By January, I won’t want to see a store and my bills will be scary, so this is a perfect time.

  9. I think your outfit at the Mommy Greenest holiday event was the BEST example of this. Live it!


  1. […] one billion pounds of trash—every month. I was so floored by those numbers that I started the Shop Drop Challenge and 500 of you joined me, saving an average of $30,000 and 3,000 pounds of waste in just one month. […]

  2. […] were the statistics that inspired me to start the Shop Drop Challenge three years ago, when I realized that if every one of the 160 million women in America took a simple 30-day […]

  3. […] year, I discovered that 160 million American women spend an average of $60 each month on clothes, while du…. That’s $10 billion and one billion pounds of trash—every month. I was so floored by those […]

  4. […] When you’re shopping for eco fashion gifts, keep these categories in mind. But if you’re shopping for yourself, remember that we 160 million American women spend an average of $60 each month on clothes, while dumping six pounds of textile waste into the landfill. And know that there’s an easy—and eco-friendly—fix for this problem: If every woman in America recycled—by swapping or thrifting—instead of shopping for clothes, we … […]

  5. […] the 2014 Shop Drop Challenge? That was when I encouraged Mommy Greenest readers to give up shopping for 30 days. The logic went […]

  6. […] Venus retrograde while you’re at it. You might even sign up for The 2014 Shop Drop Challenge (https://mommygreenest.com/pledge/), blogger Rachel Sarnoff’s eco- and budget-conscious plea to take a month off from buying new […]

  7. […] Sarnoff of Mommy Greenest has created an entire campaign with her Shop Drop Challenge. She is challenging her friends and followers to stop buying any new clothing or accessories for the […]

  8. […] Sarnoff of Mommy Greenest has created an entire campaign with her Shop Drop Challenge. She is challenging her friends and followers to stop buying any new clothing or accessories for the […]

  9. […] 12. Schedule a shopping pause. […]

  10. […] Save nearly one billion pounds of textile waste and $10 billion if you don’t buy new clothes for one month, says former CEO of Healthy Child Healthy World and Mommy Greenest founder Rachel Sarnoff. […]

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