Why go for a year without new clothes?

31 January, 2010 at 7:37 pm Leave a comment

I love clothes. No two ways about it. As a little child – and in fact to this day when I have the opportunity – I preferred to change my outfit several times a day to suit my mood, the weather, the occasion. My wardrobes and drawers are overflowing. Why?

As a teenager, when my appetite for fashion was growing at an alarming rate, we didn’t have much money. Ever since having any kind of job at all, I’ve been making up for lost time. But it’s a bottomless pit. The more I buy, the more I want. That’s our consumption culture for you!

In a world where so many people don’t have the basic necessities of life, where many of the clothes that we buy in Australia are poorly made, not meant to last, produced under ethically questionable conditions out of environmentally unsustainable materials, then shipped half way around the world using up fossil fuels and contributing to climate change, just how could I justify my insatiable penchant for clothes?

The first answer is that, at that time (2009) I probably bought about half of my clothes from op-shops, which I feel fairly comfortable about, ethically speaking (see the ethics of op-shopping).

The second answer is: I just couldn’t – particularly given that the other half of my wardrobe was pretty much the worst kind. Cheap, mass-produced stuff from across the world, mostly bargain-hunted from factory outlets. (I didn’t let my obsession get in the way of my thriftiness. Just my ethics…hmmmm.)

So one day as I was pondering this conundrum, a thought popped into my head:

“Could I go for a whole year without buying any new clothes?”

My first thought was that if I was ever going to do it, now was the time. Firstly, I was about to go back to full-time study, so op-shop clothes would be about all I could afford. Secondly, it was going to be a big year for Transition Darebin, maybe I could write a blog about it!

My second thought was What does ‘no new clothes’ really mean??

Entry filed under: A year without new clothes: Confessions of an op-shop addict, Recycling, Uncategorized. Tags: , .

What does ‘no new clothes’ really mean? A year without new clothes: Confessions of an op-shop addict

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