Okay so a month or so ago, I announced that I intended to set out on a clothing “low-buy” for the whole of 2019. What does that mean? Well, it doesn’t mean that I’m giving up shopping for clothing entirely – but that I’m changing how I am shopping. I’m buying second hand, or from ethical shops (fair wages, environmental impacts, etc.) for most things (some exceptions, see the original post – linked above). Every month my intention is to review how my progress on this goal has gone and to share it here. Let’s get into month one. 🙂
Clothing Low-Buy – January 2019
-The first thing I did was go through all of the clothing I already own. I don’t really feel that I own too much, especially considering that I don’t actually have a closet, but through the process of decluttering, I filled up quite a large garbage bag and drastically freed up space in my t-shirt drawer. I went through bags and shoes too. I’ve never had a ton of either, but I was able to find a few that I no longer wanted. It also inspired me to go through all my beauty and skincare stuff – that was another experience entirely!!
-I put a few items up on eBay. 90% of what I decluttered I donated. The money from the things I posted on eBay will go directly to one of my credit cards (another goal of mine this year is to pay down debt – overhauling how I shop is definitely a big part of that).
-This month, two pairs of sweatpants which I had purchased from Target developed holes along their seams. One pair was over a year old and was a favorite, so it had been washed repeatedly, while another pair was purchased LAST MONTH. One month. Yes, clothing is often cheaper in stores like Target, hence their appeal – but silly me, I expect them to last far longer. So now I need to either thrift some new lounge wear (I feel like this might turn out to be difficult), or to find some pants that were made ethically. I feel like either route may be a challenge, so we’ll see how that goes. If you’ve got any suggestions, feel free to let me know.
-I keep hearing the hypothesis that since Marie Kondo is inspiring everyone to get rid of all their worldly possessions, that thrifting will be real good right now. Is that the case?? At least where I live, I haven’t found it to be true. I’ve actually been noticing that thrifting has been pretty slim pickings lately. Not sure why, but it’s been bumming me out! I did manage to find three new clothing items this month though, and actually did fairly well considering! I picked up two Eddie Bauer tops – one a teal thermal, the other is a gray and green striped v-neck tshirt. I’m not sure that the thermal will be a keep as the neck is fairly high and collars make me feel really uncomfortable/sometimes amp up my anxiety (anyone else like this???). The other top is an Eileen Fisher purple tunic style top. I was VERY excited to find this one – it’s NOT a brand I find with any frequency in my area and it was super affordable. I’ve always got my eye out for things that I can wear with leggings, so it’s perfect for me!
-I also couldn’t resist this Doctor Who crossbody bag when I found it. It’s got some stains on the back (looks like it got into a fight with a cup of coffee in a previous life), but I think I might be able to get them out. I’ve quickly become a huge #Whovian and I’m also an unabashed Anglophile so I couldn’t leave this behind!!
-I’ve also noticed this month, just how many emails I get about clothing related sales. Daily doesn’t even feel like the appropriate word. Constantly feels more suited to describing the deluge of promotional emails that come into my inbox. I have just been deleting them, and haven’t had any desire to open them – but it is something I’m feeling so much more aware of now that I’m no longer giving into the fast fashion madness.
Clothing Wish List
- I’ve really been interested in Lucy & Yak dungarees/overalls. I think they’d be allowed during my low-buy since the caveat for new clothing is that the brands be ethical, and they seem like a really great company. I’m just not sure about sizing, and if I’d look totally nuts in overalls (Hello, I’m 5,1), but I’m really drawn to this color and this one.
- A cardigan with thin striping, preferably in brown/green. This might sound super weird but I saw someone wearing a cardigan in this colorway & I loved it!
The fact that my wish list is so small is actually pretty impressive to me. I’ve often felt that I “needed” to get tons of new clothes, and I don’t find myself feeling that way. This time of year is sometimes harder -the dead of winter and my birthday often bum me out (tomorrow is the latter). In the past, I’ve found myself shopping to try and cheer myself up during this time of year but I’m not really doing that this time around (though I really, really, really want a new houseplant – does that count??). I wondered if I’d give in immediately, or if I’d find myself lusting after things I wasn’t allowing myself to buy. So far neither is the case and it’s been really easy to just let go of my old shopping patterns. I’ve only had to remind myself once, and other than that I feel like there’s been no adjustment. We’ll see what happens when I find myself really needing/wanting a particular item, but so far, so good!