It’s been almost 10 months of no shopping and even if I’d wish to, I cannot continue another year without any shopping for my wardrobe at all. There are areas in my wardrobe where there are true needs. Mending, especially the tricks I’ve learnt from Wornvalues, has taken me through the year but after a year of mending my wool stockings I will have to buy new ones next year (anyone can recommend a sustainable brand?). I also think I could use another pair of boots. One of the benefits of not shopping at all is that you identify needs this way, you discover what you really do wear out.
Still I don’t want to go back to my previous state of buying whatever I feel like as long as it is sustainably produced. There are too many items in my wardrobe. Fashion Revolution & Greenpeace claims that global clothing production has more than doubled since 2000 and that we do not use 40% of the clothing that we buy. I don’t want that to be me.
So lately I have been considering how I will approach my wardrobe, shopping and making next year. After a lot of thinking, there seems to be a very simple solution. I can follow the ‘buyerarchy’ by Sara Lazarovic (to the left). So this will be my ambition for next year. Whenever there is a need, I will consider first if I can use what I have, borrow, swap, thrift, make or buy, in that order.
There were two other issues I wanted to think about this year during the Slow Fashion October: plastic pollution from textiles and second hand shopping. In terms of the plastic issue, my policy will be to not buy clothes, fabric or yarn with plastic fibers in it (polyester, elastane, lycra etc.). The exception will be recycled plastic fibre (for example for stockings) if necessary. For the clothing I already own with plastic fibers, I’m buying a Guppy Friend bag to wash them in so that they don’t release plastic into our waters.
In terms of the second hand shopping, there will be instances where I will pass over thrift in the buyerarchy and go directly to make. I do think that making new clothing for example out of old garments or left over fabric (what I call second life sewing) is even more sustainable than thrifting clothing. Anybody can buy clothes in the charity shop but making my left over fabric useful, only I can do this.
I also think that my no-plastic policy will make second hand thrifting more difficult. There are so few plastic-free garments out there (although of course there are some). This is also a good reason to keep knitting, as I already do, in non-plastic sustainably sourced yarn. However, knitting is also a lot of fun, so to try to avoid over-production (which after two years of knitting is starting to be an issue) I will try to be even more mindful of how I choose projects. Taking on knitting projects that take a lot of time will be a priority, thereby slowing down my making even further.
Looking forward to a new year and, hopefully, an even more thoughtful wardrobe approach.