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Why I Will Shop Only on Yerdle for a Full Year

I made a New Year’s resolution this year: buy nothing new and get what I need exclusively on Yerdle for a full year.

I’m calling it “The Y4Y Challenge”: Yerdle for a Year!

What exactly does Y4Y mean?

No more brand new jackets. No more impulse buys. No more Amazon “let’s see what new gadgets are out there” indulgences.

None of that.

No More Amazon

Instead, my exclusive source for material goods in 2015 will be Yerdle.

If I decide I need something, I’ll have to post things I already own on Yerdle in order to earn Yerdle Credits to shop for what I want. Yes, I have to barter.


And what if I run out of stuff to post?

I may have to ask friends and family for their unwanted things — I’ll become a sort of pied piper for unwanted things, calling them out of their idle closets or drawers and getting them back into use. It will surely be a journey, and I invite everyone following it to join me and help me do this. I expect it to get harder as time progresses. It will test my commitment to my values. I might even make a mistake and buy something new at some point (noooo!). But I hope to use the whole experience as a vehicle to explore my own relationship to stuff and sustainability, and to examine broader trends in behavioral science, the sharing economy and reuse. I’m actually very excited about it.

But back to the reality of today… How’s the Y4Y challenge going? So far, so good. (Yes, ok, only 3 weeks in).


I really like fashion and nice clothing. And I like having a modern and stylish house and garden with “cool stuff”. And electronic gadgets.  So far, I have satisfied my cravings on periodic shopping trips to malls (which I hate) and second hand stores. I like having new things but not shopping for them.


As I run my social media marketing consultancy for a living, I get to work a lot from my home office. This has cut down on my need for fancy suits (hello, Hugo Boss). But as I do need to look presentable when I visit my clients in person, we will see how that works out.


I started doing yoga to de-stress, became a teacher and now teach 2-3 yoga classes a week. I am also a big big fan of meditation and the mindfulness movement. I truly believe that we are all connected in this Universe and we have an obligation to take care of this beautiful world around us. Hence, #reuse, #recycling, and #sustainability matter to me.


IMG_0959


I met my husband in a bar in Palo Alto. He thinks I’m a little crazy for Yerdling so much, and he prefers to buy things new. We’ll se if I can change his mind a bit this year.


Why did I decide to do this?

I was introduced to Yerdle during a presentation on the collaborative economy, installed the app, and the rest is history. This was in April 2014.


Yerdle says that: “The north star goal of Yerdle is to make sharing the new shopping.” 


Their mission: “Reduce the number of new items purchased by 25%.”

Yerdle is the new shopping


That sounds great, right? But if you’ve watched the HBO series Silicon Valley or have lived in Silicon Valley for a while like me, you know that every company here wants to make the world a better place. Yes, living here, I have developed a healthy dose of suspicion and cynicism.


Is Yerdle for real?


As every self-respecting social media person would do, I took to Google to research Yerdle. I learned that Patagonia, a company I admire, had just become a Yerdle investor which gave me trust. Yerdle are also a B Corporation.


a-fitzroy-trout-sticker


Soon after, I got invited to the Yerdle HQ in San Francisco for a Pro Yerdler meeting. Imagine my surprise when some of the Yerdle team actually seemed to know me, mainly from my social media conversations about Yerdle on Twitter and Facebook. Especially Rachel Barge made me feel very welcome.


Adam Werbach


Yerdle Co-Founder Adam Werbach spoke about the virtues of reuse and sustainability, as well as the future of Yerdle. I had to check out if he was for real. According to Adam’s Wikipedia page, he was elected as the youngest national president of the Sierra Club and has otherwise been engaged with organizations like GreenPeace.


Being blond but not a dummy, I understand that convictions are good but that it takes more to run a successful business.


Does Yerdle have what it takes?


Adam Werbach once founded and lead the SF-based sustainability consultancy firm Act Now that was later acquired by Saatchi & Saatchi and is now called Saatchi & Saatchi S. Adam’s convictions were questioned by some when Act Now provided sustainability consulting to Wal-Mart. Something I hope I can ask him about some time. I generally think it’s good to try to achieve change vs. just complain.


The other Yerdle co-founder is Andy Ruben, who used to work at Wal-Mart as their CSO and I am giving him the credit of the doubt that he has seen the light also, as he now, obviously, works at Yerdle. I like to believe he was trying to make Wal-mart more sustainable.  I don’t shop at Wal-mart or eat at McDonalds, but as many do, it seems better to make these companies better than to ignore them completely.


Let’s Go


At the end of 2015, if I have not put my blog readers to sleep (or there are none), I hope to write a book about the experience.


Yerdle Monster Orange


Please accompany me along the journey!


Happy Yerdling!

Get $35 in Credits when you sign up for Yerdle with my URL.

7 Comments
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  • I have some bananas at home that are trending in the wrong direction. Feel free to post them.

    Genuinely, though, good luck, I’ll look forward to the epilogue. I’m trying to move homes right now, and even just deep-cleaning its crazy how much stuff we have that we don’t need at all, but that could be extremely valuable to someone else.

      • Susan:

        as I will blog on the Yerdle blog about this every week, I will be looking for inspirational ideas. Yerdle also has a fund. They have a sub-community like the mentors, the Pro Yerdlers and the fund has not been publicly rolled out as in testing. We’ve done a coat drive in December and doing one for the homeless and DressForSuccessRight now. Of course, stuff has to be available on Yerdle. Maybe we can do something for Animals, involve our Gretchen Lindquist? Would love to collaborate with you ladies again.

    • Bananas sounds great. Always good for a smoothy.

      Agree on the amount of stuff. And, while going through it all when moving sucks, it’s so awesome once you have worked your way through it all!!! I haven’t moved in 14 years. Before every few years and we were so lean (stuff-wise, and waste-wise).

      Good luck with the move!

  • Stuff…so much stuff! I really congratulate anyone going on a “stuff” diet or trying to find more sustainable ways to consume.

    I’m a fashion junkie…I used to work in the industry.  I used to buy and hold onto stuff out of pure compulsion.  At the end of 2012, I decided that I’ll go on a “diet” and not buy any new clothing or shoes unless it was to replace something I already have. The formula is simple: if I buy a new pair of shoes, I give away a pair I have.  Same for a new shirt or sweater and so on.  The only exceptions was if it was something new that I didn’t already have, like a raincoat or galloshes.

    In 2013, I spent not only less money on sh*t I didn’t need or already have, I spent less time browsing shops at home and while on vacation too freeing up my time.  Things are going so well that I continued into 2014 and looks like it’s going to become a regular habit for me.

    • Jason, I really appreciate the encouragement! Yeah!

      What’s the name of the movement where you get one and give one? We need to create a term. Maybe the Give & Take Movement? Or the Anti-Redundancy Movement, or the An eye for an eye movement? It has to fit with sharing economy :-).  Multiple people have mentioned to me that they are doing that. Very intriguing. I could do that next year. LOL.

      I had to Google galoshes: Galoshes – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Definitely, everybody needs a pair of those. Just teasing. So good to hear your comment here.

      • It’s quite a challenge: every time I want to buy a new pair of sneakers, jeans or sweatshirt I have to first figure out what I’ll give up. My wife also keeps me in check so I can’t cheat 😥 (She thought I wouldn’t last the first year!)

        I’m happy to hear I’m not the only one practicing this and I haven’t heard of it being a movement.  No matter what, it makes for a good challenge for anyone, even for a short time.

        By the way, TOMS : One for One and Buy a Pair, Give a Pair by Warby Parker are examples of get one, give one programs but with the consumer detached from the process.