What do we really need?
Minimalism or shopping on daily basis? Is Humana just a second-hand chain or more?
Almost one year ago, I started to prepare my stuff to come to Lithuania. Besides preparing all the documents it was also necessary to think about what I will take with me in my luggage. Not an easy task, there is a lot of things I would have liked to take with me, but there was just limited space. However, the last days before I came to Lithuania, people could hardly enter my room, because everything was occupied with all the stuff, I wanted to take with me abroad. Ten months later, the same story happened again in Lithuania. I started to organise my belongings to have a better structure and to know how I will pack all my stuff. I knew that I bought a lot of stuff, especially clothes, but I was a bit shocked when I saw, how much it really was. Well, after a couple of months in lockdown, but with open cloth stores, it became a nice leisure activity. But I didn´t spend time in commercial shopping malls, I bought nearly all my clothes in Humana.
But what is Humana?
I know Humana as a second-hand chain, where I can buy really cheap clothes in Lithuania, whereas they are quite expensive in Germany. Furthermore, it was never easy for me to find clothes there in Germany because they are quite outdated. In Lithuania nearly everyone goes to Humana, there are all kind of clothes, and it is really cheap. The first week everything has a regular price, and after every week they get discounts. At the end of the month everything costs 30 cents. I still remember my first experience in Humana. I bought a Jersey for seven euros and thought: “Wow, this is really cheap” After spending months in Humana, I would never buy a pullover for seven euros again. Way to expensive, I would wait until everything costs maximum three euros.
But Humana is not just a second-hand chain. The idea of Humana started in the 70s out of an educational movement. In the year 1996, 16 countries from Europe and Africa founded the federation “Humana – people to people”. The goal of the association is to face and eliminate the worlds mainly humanitarian, social and environmental challenges. Based on that vision, there are projects in Sustainable Agriculture and Environment, Community Development, Health, Education and Collection and Sales of Second-hand Clothes. Nowadays, there are 29 organisations participating in 45 different countries across America, Europa, Asia and Africa. One of the federations is the European Commission, for instance.
They finance their projects with the second-hand clothes among other financial incomes. Over 50 percent are financially covered by the governments. Exactly 17,9% percent are refinanced through second-hand stores.
I really like the idea how this association is working, but it also supports the consumption of shopping, at least in my part.
I came to Lithuania with one suitcase and a backpacker. Due to travelling with bus, I couldn´t bring more. When I flew back home over Christmas, I brought again some new things, because I realised at that time, that the winter in Lithuania is way colder than in Germany, and that I will not survive that with just a few hoodies. Furthermore, my parents send me some stuff with the post. Nevertheless, the main issue were clothes I bought in Humana. Obviously, I bought a lot of stuff from there. For my wallet it was not a problem, but for my space, because now I realise that I have a lot of stuff, and not much capacity to take it somewhere. Even though my parents took more than one big luggage of winter clothes with home, I still have a lot of stuff. At the end everything fitted, but it was bursting at the seams.
Even though buying second- hand clothes might be more sustainable, it has the side effect that I bought way more clothes, then I would have needed. Statistics in Germany shows that the average of clothes in our wardrobe is 95 pieces, not counting underwear. I guess, I still have less, but for my wardrobe it is better, to be in Germany again, because there I will not buy as much clothes as in Lithuania, because it is way more expensive.