I’ve just been trying to work out exactly when I started blogging. Blogger wasn’t much help here, as the publishing dates that appear above the posts are the last time the post was edited, and I’ve made a few updates to some posts over the years. I reckon, looking back through my Word files, that I started the blog in August 2014, so that’s over five and a half years of blogging. Not that I’ve been consistent; the posts have ebbed and flowed, and I did have a phase in 2018 when my writing almost dried up. Over the years, my focus has changed, too, as has the blog’s name. It started off as ‘Totally Technical’, a name only I really understood, and moved through the Little Orange Notebook incarnation to its current Vivez Vegan title.
I originally started the blog to record my exploits with Project 333 TM. I wonder how many people have heard of it? When I first started following Courtney Carver of ‘Be More With Less’ the Project had been going for about four years. This was the first wave of minimalism, and it’s really taken off since then. In fact, Project 333 TM is now trademarked (so I’ve had to add the littleTM to the words here). If you’re struggling with a bulging wardrobe, especially whilst feeling you never have anything to wear, then I can highly recommend checking out the Be More With Less website. ( I have to confess that, although I’m trying to use the library rather than buying books, I do have Courtney Carver’s new book due out 3 March on pre-order.)
The basis of The Project is that you select a capsule wardrobe of 33 items – excluding underwear, ‘loungewear’ and sportswear – and then only wear those clothes for three months. What we’d call ‘mix and match’ in the old days. Whilst you might think that this is impossible, I found that in general I only actually wear about ten or twelve items on a rotating daily basis. Most other things were ‘kept for best’ or were going out clothes. (In LB going out was a rare event; it’s not much different here in the UK.) I was attracted to Project 333TM because I’d pitched up in France to live a completely different life with a whole load of unsuitable clothes, mostly garnered from a charity shop habit that was my weekend hobby.
It took me about a year to sort out my wardrobe – I even had a spreadsheet; I don’t like to do things by halves! This included getting rid of numerous black bags to the clothing bank, plus actually buying some new items. These new additions were carefully planned, both to fit into the capsule colour scheme and to be ‘technical’. For us, that means travel clothing – light, warm when necessary, capable of layering up or down, quick-drying, hard-wearing and non-iron. I started out with 180 items of clothing and, by the end of the process, I’d whittled this down to 80 pieces, covering all four seasons.
The blog then changed its name and morphed into a record of our transition to a vegan lifestyle, and my musings mostly about vegan food, but also a few thoughts about our travels, minimalism, ethical living and trying to do more for the environment. Running my blog operates a bit like an online diary. There was a lot of cake, too 🍩. I hadn’t really given Project 333TM much thought until recently when I spotted a social media post about the new book. Hmm, I wondered, how does the current wardrobe stack up? I don’t really create capsules for each season any more, as my clothes stash stays pretty constant with a ‘one in, one out’ policy. In fact, for the past couple of years we’ve hardly bought any new clothes – the Rohan, Musto, North Face and Jack Wolfskin stuff just won’t wear out.
It was caring for the in-laws that prompted me to perform a quick wardrobe audit. More precisely, trying to put away MiL’s washing in already overcrammed drawers, full of clothes still in plastic wrappers, multiple versions of the same thing and fifty-seven pairs of pants (in the British sense of the word, not American 😆). Whether or not we ever get around to the long-promised ‘Spring Clean’ will no doubt be the subject of a future post. So, where does my clothes collection now stand? Well, excluding underwear and sportswear (the ten items forming my yoga kit), there are 79 pieces of clothing. (Note that, unlike the strict rules of the Project, I do exclude scarves , boots & shoes  and bags ). The test now will be, with the temptation of numerous charity shops in Colchester, whether I can maintain the capsule that’s developed over the past five years – the limited wardrobe space of the Hut demands that I do.