Winter is coming and my favourite time of year has arrived: the introduction of autumn/winter fashion. I absolutely love it when new clothing collections are draped on mannequins in store windows and brands release photos of their autumn/winter campaigns on social media – it gets me so hyped for arguably the best season for fashion. This is the glorious time when I can begin preparations for my winter wardrobe by selecting new key items that will get me through the cold season that coincide with the current winter trends. What colour coat should I buy? Which style of boots should I invest in? And most importantly, what will be my winter colour scheme (almost always black)? But alas, this cannot be the case this year.
My 2019 resolution to not buy ANY clothing for the entire year has stopped that yearly activity in its tracks, and surprisingly I don’t even mind that much. I see you all shaking your heads in disbelief and cry ‘how?’ exasperatedly. The truth is that my attitude towards fashion has undergone a complete transformation ever since reading the book Every Women’s Guide to Saving the Planet and becoming a subscriber to The Fashion Advocate (see relevant article here). As a lover of all things fashion, I felt an ethical obligation to educate myself on the impacts of one of the world’s most polluting industries and the accompanying social justice implications. When I realised the extent of the damage caused by fast fashion, overconsumption and the exploitation of human capital, I felt ashamed of my past spending habits. I have a wardrobe filled to the brim with clothes and shoes, and although I love every piece I own and have made great attempts to shop ethically in the last few years, why do I really need all of this stuff? Surely I don’t need to anything more and can survive on what I already own.
So, as inspired by The Fashion Advocate’s mission to not purchase any new clothes in 2018, I have decided to embark on the same mission. The only purchasing I have to allow is the mandatory buying of uniform for my fashion retail job (which I have tried to keep to a minimum). And I know that it’s only early days, but I am shocked at my lack of desire to buy anything at all. Becoming educated on the ethical and environmentally-conscious consumption of fashion has halted any inclination to go out and buy, and I hope that I can continue this momentum in three months time when winter officially hits. Of course, I anticipate that I will eventually enter struggletown and want to cave into my favourite act of therapy (shopping with my mum). I will have to continually force myself to re-read Every Women’s Guide to Saving the Planet and The Fashion Advocate to curb any dangerous cravings. But during this journey, I will endeavour to educate others on becoming aware of the environmental and social impacts of fast fashion and the importance of shopping sustainably, because in the words of The Fashion Advocate, “It’s not about giving up fashion. It’s about making it better.“
So, when an urge kicks in to browse for a pair of black cowboy boots or a faux fur jacket “just for fun”, I will say NO – THIS IS UNNECESSARY, LAURA – and take a scan of my wardrobe to reinforce the fact that I absolutely don’t need any new clothing in my life. I will probably have a lot more spending money by the end of it, develop a greater creative styling ability, and hopefully raise awareness of the fact that we all have the power to minimise the damaging effects of the fashion industry through our consumption choices. Stay tuned!