New Year, new challenge
Could you go a whole year without buying a new item of clothing? It is a new trend and in my book, everything is possible.
When speaking to a group of ladies last year about my annual routine of putting away summer clothes and getting out my winter woollies I was faced with a look of horror and a deadly silence, I realised in that moment I was viewed as either totally out of date or a slightly bit crazy.
I cherish everything I own, more or less, if someone has given it to me or I have bought something special it gets looked after and kept for eternity. This is why I am dead against fast fashion such as Primark. Less is most definitely more.
My daughter loves these high streets ‘monsters’ but when I read stories of people dying in factory fires, it just makes me more determined to be mindful of where and how I buy clothes.
Clean Clothes is an organisation working to improve the working conditions of workers making our clothing in factories in countries such as China, India and Bangladesh. 100 Civil Societies have called on the EU to make changes to legislation that will force corporations to protect human rights of workers and limit the environmental impact the global supply chain currently has.
We need to reduce the amount of clothes being produced, it’s as simple as that. The global retail supply chain has a devastating impact on the environment.
Jeans for example is made with cotton and polyester and cotton requires a huge amount of water i.e. 2.2 pounds of cotton requires up to 7,660 gallons of water, depending on where its grown (to compare this with growing tomatoes which require on 76 gallons of water for the same weight). Farmers are exposed to lots of chemicals too when growing cotton so there are significant health risks associated with the creation of cotton for jeans.
On a brighter note
So what are the options if we dare to take up the challenge? and why should we?
In her best selling book – The Year of Less Cait Flanders documents her time of less consumerism, less debt, less alcohol and spending reducing her time online and how it affected her life. It is a best seller so if you can find it second hand hand then perfect.
We have my high street Charity Shops than we do clothes shops in our town of Ringwood, so there is plenty of choice. When I would buy second hand Levi’s from a great little shop in the Lanes in Brighton, so second hand doesn’t have to mean lowing standards on quality.
List of online second had clothes shops:
Learn to sew – Become a Sewing bee
My dad bought me a manikin for my birthday so that I could make my own clothes. We have a fabric shop in town with quite a comprehensive selection of material including linen, so I have a box full of fabric and a sewing machine, my excuse has always been time.
There are lots of videos on sewing and once you make something good you will get the confidence to make more. I have made a little fleece bonnet and a quilt for my niece that was quite a success as the quilt is still used today.
Don’t forget Libraries
I am great fan of the library, and make a concerted effort to get books out regularly to ensure their survival. I love the quiet atmosphere and the knowledge that I might come away with a real gem, for free.
Save money and save the planet
Good luck if you are going to take the No Shopping for 1 year Challenge. I will be doing it and I’m feeling rather excited about all the money I will save! However, I will be trying some of the new online second shops for some bargains.