As I reflect on my 2017 efforts to not buy newly produced clothing, I realise my year’s pledge was not so much about passing or failing the pledge, but more about making it a catalyst to enhance my consciousness around my possessions.
Through my pledge efforts, I became the observer of my shopping tendencies. So while I failed in buying no clothing and accessories in 2017, it’s left me with a far greater understanding of why and how I continually shopped.
This pledge coincided beautifully with additional opportunities to really challenge myself in letting go and embracing change; the latter was something I thought I had already mastered. Alas I’ve a long way to go!
I was introduced to the concept of minimalism through a documentary entitled, Minimalism. This came about at the same time as I began pairing down our family’s collective possessions, in preparation for our impending immigration to the US.
Not only did I part with over 300 personal wardrobe items, but I also thinned out our books, toiletries, electronics, ornaments, jewellery, kitchenware, photographs, garage clutter and paperwork.
I bought 32 items of clothing, including accessories, which funnily enough makes it exactly 10% of my items discarded. I’ve learnt to bide my time before making a purchase, research items carefully and select fabrics in monochromatic colour schemes for maximum versatility.
As an imperfect conscious consumer, journeying towards this very appealing minimalist lifestyle, I’d say my pledge efforts have been immensely rewarding and worthwhile. It’s also an ongoing work in progress!
The pledge towards a more sustainable wardrobe has given me the guidance to:
- Hone an aesthetic: Developing a more refined sense of personal style, in colour, style, fabrics and lifestyle suitability
- Enjoy less: (302 items). Thinning out the number of items gives one the opportunity to repeatidly wear the best loved pieces
- Support charity: (137 items) By donating to a favourite charity, it strengthens their income through the resale of these donated clothing items
- Earn income: ($1823) By reselling through a consignment store, one supports small business owners and lengthened the items’ lifecycle
- Invest in pre-owned: Buying previusly-loved items ensures these pieces are kept out of landfills and lessens the need for more newly produced, resource–thirsty, clothing
- Discover sustainable brands online: Bead and Reel (vegan), Elborne (vegan), Modavanti, Amour Vert, The Reformation, and The Acey (some are not exclusively vegan, so please check per item)
- Try capsule wardrobe: Give it a try for a season. Packing away all excess clothing, and retaining only a capsule wardrobe of 20 to 37 items, can help us realise just how much we can do without, while experiencing the freedom of owning less
- Freedom of letting go: Pledges aside, moving towards minimalism gives one an extra push into letting go of society’s ‘norm’ on just how much we need to buy, hang onto and continuously aspire towards.