Monday, January 14, 2013

a year without buying clothes

If anyone remembers, a year ago I started out my year by making
"to not buy clothing - everything needs to be handmade or if necessary thrifted"
one of my new years resolutions. 
Surprisingly it went really well. For eleven months all I bought was four items of underwear and nothing else, than the weather got freezing over here in the UK and I caved and bought three heat tech pairs of leggings, a jumper, a skirt and a long sleeved shirt. 
But even buying these few items was hard. The amount of times I went into shops, picked something out and put it back again because I decided that I really didn't need it or that it wasn't perfect enough! 
Still, new clothes still found other ways into my wardrobe. My friend Lisa gave me one of her dresses when she cleared out her closet and made me a wooly hat for my birthday. My friend Ruth gave me a stripy top she didn't like on herself, but fit me perfectly and my friend Zoe payed me in garments when I helped out and made accessories for her. Winning!
In addition to that I made a pair of shorts, a skirt and a top that can also be worn as a skirt. All fabric used was already in my fabric boxes and shorts and top were made with naturally dyed and printed cotton fabric. In the summer I decided that the shorts will fit my mum way better and gave them to her. It's all a big cycle and I wish we could have a clothes swap again. It is one of the easiest things to do and everyone ends up leaving happy with new and fun things to fill their wardrobe. When my friend Birgit came to visit after the summer, I let her go through my stash of clothes put aside for the next swap. 

Clothes fill up landfills as we go through them so quickly now that fashion is changing every other month. At some point you realise that you can live with a lot less, get pretty creative and actually use what fills your wardrobe rather than forgetting half of the items you keep in there. 
I'm planning on sticking to everything I've learnt last year. Should the necessity to buy something come up, there will be questions:
  • Do I really need it - as in really, really. you'd be surprised how many times you'll put it back
  • Do I like it and does it fit me - cut, fabric, colours, etc
  • What can I wear it with - can I layer it and make it work in different seasons
  • How well is it made - this kills it most of the time as I usually inspect seems, buttons, etc
Going into overcrowded shops and being pushed around by the crowds on busy shopping streets or malls, to be honest I haven't missed a thing. The only time I was really bummed out to be missing is when Marc Jacobs had 70% off haha
Here's to a creative 2013 and creating less waste!

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