Is ‘not buying​ new clothes’ really a challenge..?

Is ‘not buying​ new clothes’ really a challenge..?

Is 'not buying new clothes' really a challenge..?

I read an article in the Guardian (link here) about how people are 'challenging' themselves to not buy any new clothes for a period of time. This could be a month, 6 months or even 2020 in its entirety.

The blog also goes on to tell the reader about some people who are now shopping secondhand as a way of still shopping (I think that's a valid point -they are still shopping) for clothes but in a cheaper and, dare I say it, more sustainable way.

I couldn't help feeling a little cross at this article. I even chatted to Hubbie in a should-I-be-cross? conversation because I was confused at my feelings and needed to run them past someone else.

'Why were you cross?' I hear you say?

I was cross because having written about the duel function of charity shops last week (link here) to really question their creaming off the better quality items to sell in more 'select' outlets, therefore taking affordable quality clothing out of the reach of many people who need it. Many people who might not be shopping in a charity shop because it's the next fashion but because of necessity: they don't have a choice.

I was cross because yet more clothing, and quality clothing, will be out of the hands of people in need and into the hands of people not in need.

For me I would like to see a challenge -and it's a real challenge for some people I do understand (I'm not being sarcastic here)- of a much more simple idea. I think we should just stop buying clothes we don't need.

I think there's another challenge that will, again, be tricky for some people because of our attitude towards those who mend their clothes and those who wear clothes that aren't sparkly and new -we should wear clothes until they are worn out.

Wear them until they are threadbare, until the zip breaks and you can't mend it, until the elastic is stretched that little bit too far that your item of clothing starts to fall down a bit when you walk.

We need to use less, buy better quality items with longevity in mind and be proud when we've owned something years. We need to mend our clothes, remake them into something else -where possible- and have a focus on only buying what we really need.

I own 1 pair of high heels that I wear with any going out outfit (I don't go out that often so I appreciate that's easier) my last pair of going out shoes lasted me my friend's wedding, the christenings of both her children and also a night out 11 years later when we celebrated her divorce. I've still got them in my wardrobe and I love them but the heel has lost some of it's fabric so I used a sharpie to colour the scratched bit in so I could wear them for longer. I've a wrap cardigan that I bought when I was pregnant with H that I still wear 13 years later. We need to aim for more years from our clothes and not just think that buying second hand is the answer.

Am I being grumpy?

Probably, but I do think I have a point worth thinking about.

So instead of challenging ourselves to buy secondhand let's challenge ourselves to learn how to mend our clothes, to use the fabric again and make it into something new and to only buy what we really (really) need.

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