I am trying this new thing where I don’t buy anything I don’t need (and I mean need, not want) because as much as I love shopping, I love the environment more and I want it to be around for future generations.
So far (the last 2 weeks), it has felt good to ignore the purchases that I have lusted after, because that’s all it is after all - lust. To be perfectly honest, I have everything (and more) that I need. Although I like to be creative with the way that I dress - I am actually a lot more creative when I’m not buying anything new. It makes me think more about what I’ve already got and how to put items together in new combos.
This break (although short) has pumped me with enthusiasm to “make do and mend” - so often I (instead of mending things) throw them out or buy a replacement. I’m really embarrassed to admit that because how easy is it to get out a needle and thread and fix it!
I am also wondering - at what point did I stop op shopping? It’s so much fun delving through the racks of clothes and it feeds me with creative inspiration “if I just cut that… nip that in…”. Some of my favourite cardies have been op shop finds and I have made a lot of cut-offs from old jeans - and received many compliments for them!
In a typical week I will buy a few items of clothes and maybe a pair of shoes - I have so many clothes now it makes me sick to think about it. Despite donating bags and bags every year - the incoming bags of clothes pretty much equal or exceed what went out.
I buy clothes when I’m sad or feeling insecure. Having something new makes it easier for me to go out to an event or even to uni. It makes me feel okay - but it’s only momentary - the minute it’s been worn, it’s no longer new and the effect is gone - I need something new again.
Although I don’t shop as much as I used to, I’m still not happy with where I’m at. It goes against my educated principles and the way that I want to live my life.
The more I learn, the more I can’t ignore the reality and the more I can’t support my current way of life. We as a Western society are so wasteful - the majority of girls my age (like myself) treat clothes as disposable - so many dresses in my cupboard I have worn only once or twice and some things I have never worn. I’m not proud of these confessions.
Because of my shopping habits - I haven’t saved up for my bike yet and I’m kicking myself!! That was something I was really enthused about - and I’m getting that goal back on track.
I’m hopeless at taking my green bag to the supermarket and I frequently forget my water bottle and have to buy one (which is so wasteful). I have improved with my electricity and water consumption however and I always recycle. I also try not to use my car too much and I make a hot water bottle instead of using my electric blanket (most nights).
I feel quite conflicted at the moment - I have always loved fashion and wanted to be involved in that world - but I know what that world does to people now and to the environment and I can’t support that.
It’s hard to let go of something that you see as a huge part of you, I hope that I never let it go (fashion and my unique sense of style) entirely but that I learn to better integrate my values into my fashion decisions - buy better quality clothes that last longer, buy from companies that pay fair wages and don’t support sweat shops, go op shopping and make things. Not only will I feel happier within myself - at the end of the day, I will also save money - which I intend to use for traveling and further expanding my mind :)