Quitting fast fashion - a 12 month challenge

Quitting fast fashion - a 12 month challenge

Even writing the title has made me shiver with dread. I have resolved to stop buying new clothes for a year. I like buying clothes very much and I really like a good bargain, but that is the problem.  I have too many, most of them are packed into boxes and sitting in a storage unit and the ones I keep in my wardrobe are overflowing and bulging out of the drawers. I shop impulsively and am quick to buy things without giving much thought to them at all. Often they stay in the shopping bag on the floor of my room, untouched and unloved until I reluctantly try and find space for them. 

This has got to stop. I have a vision of discovering old items and being reunited with them like long lost friends, of having tidy hangers and hand sewn hems. I pat myself on the back for resisting the urge to splurge in sales and glow at the thought of being outside of the unethical storm of the mass produced, cheaply made fashion following. 

It will be hard. I have decided on some ground rules:

1. No new clothes unless I am faced with an unexpected emergency such as a specific event with a dress code I don't have and haven't been able to borrow.

2. I will mend what I have, swap what I can and buy second hand from markets or charity shops. 

3. Socks, underwear, tights and shoes (if mine fall apart) are exceptions but if I buy something new it will be a one in one out policy. 

I don't know anyone who has done this. Why am I doing it to myself? Why?? True to form, it was on an impulse. One of those moments you just suddenly realise what is right and it's as though you always knew it was going to happen. It was my birthday, I found myself on Oxford Street with about 30 minutes to kill. In that time I managed to spend £50+ in John Lewis and £70+ in French Connection. This was not planned, I didn't need anything but as soon as I bought the items, it left me feeling full and satisfied and very pleased with myself. Later on, carrying around the heavy bags started to feel like a burden and I wanted to be free of them. I tried to remember what I had bought and it was a bit of a blur. I felt like I had lost control and parked my rational brain on doorstep of the shop. I realised I was behaving like an addict and decided to go cold turkey and challenge myself. For this year of my life, being 28 will change my ways for the better. I want to see what I already have with a new perspective and I want to step out of the needy bubble of fast fashion.

In the posts to follow, I will chronicle how I am doing it. What I find the hardest and what I have discovered. Wish me luck.

Carol Rosati OBE

Carol Rosati OBE

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