I Realize How Much Material Things I Own, and It’s Disgusting

From sneakers and clothes to unnecessary tech; it only took years for me to finally notice

Jason Tolete
5 min readOct 5, 2020


Photo by Josh Howard on Unsplash

My spending habits are the complete opposite representation of how much money I earn in a year. I want to point out that SOME of the things I buy have resale value, but I’ll be talking about the items that I keep for myself (some of which may have some value…). It wasn’t until 2020 where I became conscious about the clothes that I buy. Previously, I would go to any store to purchase basics, clothes for a special occasion, or really not have a reason at all and just buy clothes. One of my close friends has an education in design and fashion. He talked about fast fashion and what it is — creating clothes with cheap material and significant quantities, which is excellent for convenience and ease of production, but ultimately bad for the environment. The conversation I had with him didn’t turn my spending habits (with clothes)around immediately, but it did make me want to look at my closet and what I owned. I had way too many clothes that I knew I was not going to be wearing.

At all.

Some clothes didn’t fit me: either too big or too small.

Clothes that were out of style or styles that I no longer liked wearing.

Some pieces I had were just the same as another article of clothing but in a different color.

After going through my wardrobe and taking the conversation with my friend in mind, that’s when I knew that I had to reduce my consumption of clothes. I think about the quality and the sustainability of the clothes, asking myself if this is something that I really want to buy. I still enjoy clothes that look great and feel great, now I consciously think about the sustainability of the company and what materials they use, and do the clothes transcend trends and seasons (easier said than done).

Photo by Andras Vas on Unsplash

My love for Jordans and Nike SB’s was born.

I had to put sneakers in their own part of the story. I always liked shoes, but I didn’t actually pay attention to the type of shoe until I got into middle school. I started to play basketball, but I also started to skateboard.

During my middle school years, shoes from Vans to Nikes were seen across school grounds every day. Jordan 11’s were one of my favorite models, but SB’s had a different flavor. My favorite pair that I owned was the Guns n Roses or November Rain mids — a black, grey, red, and white shoe with a cool design on the insole that you could only see if you took it off your foot. My love for shoes started during those years and never stopped. I want to say that the love for shoes was because I liked the designs and colorways, but some of the reasons why I bought shoes was to impress other people. It was a trap, and I fell for it.

I currently have a couple of pairs of Air Jordan 1’s: Cool Greys and Pine Greens, and over the past years, I owned Travis Scott 1 highs, Cactus Jack 6’s, Off-White Blazers, and Off-White 5’s; Union 4 Guava. The shoes that I listed last are more of the resale value shoes I have, which I ended up selling. So yes, some of the shoes that I bought have been investments for some capital gain down the line, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t overspent on shoes that I don’t need but sincerely wanted. I’m taking the same approach with my sneakers, as I did with my wardrobe. It’s a little more complicated with sneakers for me, but at the end of the day, I can live with classic shoes like Chucks and Stan Smiths, and every so often get a new pair of Air Max 1’s (only when my current pair gets destroyed).

Photo by Daniel Korpai on Unsplash

I’d like to think that I had a Gameboy in my hand when I was born. Technology has been a part of my life ever since I was little. I was a Nintendo baby growing up, starting with the black and white Gameboy, moving towards the PS2, and then the Xbox 360, ultimately leading me to PC gaming. I watch tech review videos on new software and hardware for anything and everything, I follow tech people on my social, and I just built my first mechanical keyboard a couple of months ago. I’m part of the Apple ecosystem: I use an Apple Watch for my runs and activities, I use Airpods for my headphones, and I own a MacBook through work. As you’re reading this, you can guess the number of third-party accessories I’ve explored to best complement these devices. The thing that I hate about technology is that there is always new hardware down the line — the problem is when that new hardware drops the following year. I don’t often overspend on tech items due to the nature of how expensive they are, but I have still made mistakes on buying a few things that I probably shouldn’t have, most of them being accessories for my main tech toys.

Most of my tech stuff(outside of gaming consoles) can help me with productivity. The mindset that I’m taking with these items revolves around the fact that better tools do not equate to better outcomes. There’s no need for me to buy something new or to upgrade unless my skills are being limited by outdated technology.

In the past couple of months, I’ve been giving away clothes that I don’t wear to friends and family and reconsidering when I want to buy new things. It doesn’t help when most of your friends love the same sneaker culture as you. I’m slowly coming to the conclusion that I can still partake in discussions when new shoes drop, but I will definitely be taking a back seat when it comes to new shoes for myself. In terms of technology and my habits of product consumption, I’m very fortunate to have the possibility and opportunity to spend money on these things, but, at the end of the day, there are much better financial choices I could be making that would have much more benefit in my day-to-day. Continually going through my stuff makes me aware of my consumption habits and, ultimately, helps me appreciate what I already own.



Jason Tolete

A (so-called) writer amongst other hobbies. Hoping to inspire those to continue to do what makes them happy. The host of “On Your Own Time.”