Remake inspired us to take the #nonewclothes journey in May - Kim pledged not to buy any new clothes for six months. Here is a few thoughts on her experience.
How did it go? Not as well as I'd hoped. I am guilty of desiring the next best thing - be it new, secondhand, or something I made myself. The #nonewclothes challenge took one of those elements out of the equation, but it also forced me to think critically about every item that was already in my closet and why I wanted to replace those items with something else.
This year, I've added 31 items of clothing to my wardrobe. (I'm not counting shoes, because those seemed essential. SMH). During the last six months, with the restriction of not buying anything new, I have added 12 items to my wardrobe - all secondhand or pieces I made. In that time, I also cycled out 8 items by selling them, and a handful more that I donated. This accounting, though tedious, actually helps hold me accountable to my habits.
I’ve loved working on Other Lives for many reasons, but one purely selfish one is that I’ve been able to reinterpret items that were not getting much play in my wardrobe. That long sleeve white t-shirt that I used for the Keyhole T workshop is infinitely more appealing to me now that I’ve punched a few holes in it. It’s my hope that I can continue to do this with all kinds of pieces - to keep them longer, and to cherish them for as long as possible. In so doing, I really hope to get closer to my clothing and respect its inherent value. There is so much work and time and energy that goes into the development of every piece of clothing that is made (truly) - I feel like we're doing a disservice to designers and makers when we don't give clothing a good run. More than that, consuming less has other benefits: we can reduce our environmental impact, and we can (hopefully, eventually) break free from the relentless capitalistic cycle of consuming, discarding, and consuming anew.
I am learning that consuming less is a process; while becoming completely zero waste is a long way off for me, simply becoming aware of my habits and patterns and accounting for all my stuff has been incredibly useful. The process has raised questions that get to the heart of why we wear clothing at all - and why we buy or keep the things we love.
I would love to hear if you have tried the #nonewclothes challenge, and if so, how it went for you! Let us know in the comments.
Until next year,