Can I go a whole year without buying any new clothes?
At the beginning of January I decided that I wasn’t going to buy any new clothes for a whole year. Instead I would make better use of charity and second hand shops, mend items I already have, and borrow/swap clothes with friends. I’ve got a friend who is also doing this with me.
My reasons to stop shopping were:
The environmental costs of clothing production
According to Sustain Your Style the fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world after the oil. It accounts for 20% of industrial water pollution globally and 8% of greenhouse emissions. The amount of water needed to produce an item of clothing is considerable. It takes 200,00 liters to produce just 1kg of cotton.
The inhumane conditions that face many of the workers in the supply chain
Many of our garments are produced in countries where workers rights are limited. Workers are often forced to work 16 hour days at a minimum wage. Child labour is particularly an issue. The International Labour Organisation estimates that there are 152 million victims of child labour, with many working in the fashion supply chain.
Like many millennials I’m trying to save up for a house and the piggy bank didn’t seem to be gaining much weight!
So far, I’ve done pretty well and haven’t bought a single item of clothing. Although, the fact that all the clothing shops are closed at the moment has played quite a big part! I’ve created a Depop account (App for buying/selling preloved clothes) and have also repaired an old jumper. I’ve also been lucky enough to have been given some pre-loved items by friends.
I have also tried to limit temptation by deleting emails from fashion brands, unsubscribing from their mailing lists and blocking clothing ads on social media. I’m also throwing all clothing catalogues straight into the recycling bin.
I’d love to know if you’re doing anything similar. Rosie