We live in a world that encourages compulsive consumption. We are told over and over again to accumulate as much as possible. Yet, our desire to consume leaves us with feelings of self-loathing, disappointment, and guilt.
Many of us feel trapped by our ever-expanding need to acquire more and more things. We want more, but we don't know why. We buy more, but we don't feel better.
We imagine that buying more things will cure us; we imagine it will satiate our desires and make us feel good again. But no matter how much we buy, it's never enough.
We would like you to help us put a stop to this unhealthy pattern of behavior by offering you your first chance to purchase nothing.
Is this a joke? No. It's not.
This is, The Buy Nothing Experiment (TBNE).
At TBNE, our goal is simple. For the first time in history, nothing is actually for sale. And, yes, you can buy it.
We offer you the chance to buy nothing. By doing so (i.e., buying nothing) you get nothing in return, except the satisfaction of buying something that in reality is nothing. This symbolic gesture of buying nothing shows your real life commitment to ending the cycle of compulsive buying, also known as oniomania.
But, the best part about buying nothing is that no one in a factory has to do anything to produce what you've purchased, because you've purchased nothing. This means you can rest assured that nothing was bought or sold on your behalf and nothing will ever arrive in the mail or on your front porch to remind you of an unwanted or ill advised purchase.
There are no unsightly boxes with the names of luxury brands on them. There's nothing you don't want or need. In fact, nothing shows up that will end up a few days later making you feel guilty, anxious, or lonely.
Why would you want to buy nothing? By pledging to purchase nothing you not only get nothing, you also help bring this social movement to a global audience.
Our project will bring the buy nothing experiment (TBNE) to as many people as possible through our digital naming wall and a public unveiling of TBNE naming wall in a public space on Buy Nothing Day. There won't be any grotesque marketing appeals or gimmickry, just a word-of-mouth campaign to bring this incredibly simple way to buy nothing to our many supporters.
Whereas many online retailers want to sell and be everything to everyone, we have set out to be and do the opposite. We offer you the chance to purchase nothing in the quantity that best suits your needs.
Through our Kickstarter pledge page, you can buy nothing for yourself or send nothing to someone else as a gift, or both! Nothing is perfect for birthdays, or just about any other occasion.
For each dollar we receive from you, we will add your name an equal number of times to our digital word cloud (e.g., one dollar, one name; two dollars, two names; and so on). The money we collect will support the development and completion of the digital naming wall as well as a "real life" companion wall to be publicly unveiled on Buy Nothing Day. The more nothing you buy the more times your name will be entered in the cloud and the larger your name will appear on TBNE wall.
If fully funded, the TBNE naming wall will go live online and be put on display in downtown Seattle's Pioneer Square on Buy Nothing Day, complete with photographs and short profiles of those who fund at the $1000 level. This "buy nothing wall" will be a "real life" version of the digital naming wall. The funds we raise will be used to support the creation, promotion, and hosting of TBNE digital and physical naming wall.
Some advantages to buying nothing from us: we never run out of stock; our products do no harm to the environment; we don't contract our work to sweat shops in far away lands; we always make an in-kind donation of nothing to no one on your behalf; you can purchase at anytime and from anywhere and receive your product in less time than it takes you to complete your order; and, shipping is always free.
All of our backers will receive nothing. If funded, our digital naming wall will go live within two months and stay up for the foreseeable future (or until our funds run out). The public art wall will be completed and then displayed in Seattle by the end of August.
The digital naming wall will be created by our art group (Nemo Xebeche as the lead artist) and will include all names of those opting to buy nothing. Nemo Xebeche will create TBNE website and naming wall. Our site will also have information about the project and the buy nothing movement.
The companion project will be an artistic representation of the digital naming wall. This "wall" will be displayed in downtown Seattle's Pioneer Square for one day. Large-size portraits along with the stories of those contributing one thousand dollars or more will be included in the display. This public art wall will also include a large sign with name of the project "The Buy Nothing Experiment." Flyers with information about the project and its purposes will also be made available.