One year. No new clothes. Can I do it?

We need to drastically change our behaviour to reduce the environmental and human cost of our love of fashion. It’s time for a serious challenge.

Can I do it? Not everyone thinks so

My sister literally sniggers when I say it. My mum’s reaction is identical.

‘I want to try,’ I tell them ‘to spend no money on clothes for a whole year. Starting on 1st August 2019.’

Yes, okay, I have a bit of a reputation for buying clothes. I used to write a blog dedicated to it, in fact. And yes, my secret super power is being able to pluck out the one diamond in 2,000 square metres of T K Maxx rough. (Seriously, though, this perfectly tailored pair of fully lined Paul Smith palazzo pants for thirty quid? I feel like I’m stealing from them…)

Shopping: from status symbol to shame

But over time clothes shopping has become less an expensive hobby and more a source of embarrassment. In 1995 we lusted after Clueless Cher’s way normal revolving wardrobe. In 2019 we’re downsizing our wardrobes in a fit of KonMari-ing and being shamed by a sixteen year old for getting on a plane. #flygskam

Fashion is a super polluter. Its impact on land, water, climate – and the humans and animals that depend on these – is so horrible that we avoid paying it too much attention. We’ve lost all connection to who made our clothes, where they came from or the resources it took to produce them.

Whether we want to think about it or not, the best thing we can do is to re-wear the clothes we already have more times – and buy fewer new items.

It starts today: no new clothes for a year

So here’s my idea. From 1st August 2019 to 31st July 2020, I won’t spend any money on new clothes.

(A quick note on this – I’ve worded my goal with some wriggle room, as my leaving present from my colleagues at my last job was a voucher for my favourite second hand store. Using this won’t involve spending money or new clothes.)

‘What if something breaks?’ my sister asks. ‘What if you get a stain on something?’ adds my mum.

Well I think I have enough clothes in my wardrobe that losing one item won’t result in me having to go out naked. But we’ll see.

What do you think – can I do it? Any tips to help me along the way? Leave your comments and ideas below.

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