I’ve been struggling with the ethical and financial implications of my clothing shopping habits for a while now. I try to shop secondhand because it’s more sustainable. But the lockdowns make it impossible or inadvisable to leave the house except for essential outings.
I want to shop locally to support independent designers, but they don’t often offer things in my size and I can’t always afford it.
I don’t want to shop at all because ai have everything I need already. The financial future is unknown so curbing purchases would help save money. But shopping is fun, and again, I want to support my friends’ businesses.
Originally I was going to set a goal of buying nothing new in 2021. Good for the bank account and I could still help support local designers by hyping their clothing and accessories in social media. Then, on Boxing Day, I went on a little online shopping spree to load up before my 2021 resolution went into effect. You know, like eating a whole thing of ice cream the night before you start a new diet. I ordered a plaid fleece jacket from Marks Work Wearhouse (pictures up top) that had been haunting my timeline. I also bought a pair of velvet joggers from the Gap after several failed attempts to fashion a pair out of some velvet palazzo’s I purchased back in the winter. Ai got a sweater from Old Navy that sort of looks like the one I had on my Wish List but had since sold out. and I got a canvas jumpsuit from Old Navy because I love jumpsuits but the ones I have are all summer weight.
I‘ve also been thinking about my planned actions. I’m thinking that there are more impactful ways to get the fashion industry to be more accountable than by simply not buying new clothes. I am going to research organizations working to ensure the garment industry pays workers a living wage and a safe work environment. It would also be nice if they improved their environmental record. I’ll still try to buy second hand, but more because I’m a vintage girl at heart.
Not going out has helped me focus on my actual wardrobe needs. I’ve done a decent job of embellishing and reinventing my existing clothes. I’ve purged quite a bit (clothes I never wore or no longer fit) as well, which makes getting dressed a lot easier. And yes, I got rid of some garments that I bought online this year. Mostly online impulse purchases that didn’t quite work—probably because they were cheaply made and tailored.
In short, I have everything I need, but I could have better versions of them. I also need to recognize that some fits just aren’t meant to be. Light colours are too high maintenance. Jeans have always problematic for me and my apple shape. V-shaped and scoop necklines are just not my bag. And as much as I appreciate complicated watches, I’m a time only gal at heart.
So let these Boxing Day buys satisfy my shopping Jones for as long as possible.