Guest blog by Lauren McIntosh
My journey into reducing waste and not buying new clothes…..
So I decided as a new years resolution around 3 years ago that I would stop buying new clothes, and as far as possible new material items in general. I figured this would be quite simple to do as I didn’t really need any more things and there was a lot already in the word. Me buying more things would only result in more things needing to be made to replace what I bought and then this vicious cycle of buying and making and throwing things away when things weren’t really past their best. just were not what we ‘fancied’ anymore.
I spent 9 months travelling around India, Indonesia and New Zealand and living out of one bag which really makes you question how many pieces of clothing you need and how essential items are, or whether they are more of a luxury item.
Coat £6 from car boot, a Norwegian brand and white jeans donated by my sister
Now my mentality is quite simple: I refrain from buying clothes new as much as possible, and if I do need something then I will rummage around my local charity shops until I eventually (which I most often do) come across the item I have been looking for the past few months! My friends also now know me as the person who is constantly on the scrounge for their second hand goods so I am usually the first port of call before things go on to the charity shop or clothes bank. It has also made me very resourceful and much better at upcycling my own clothes, making repairs and giving pieces of clothing that new lease of life to wear them again. All it often takes is a bit of imagination into how things can be repurposed, and a bit of creativity to make something new out of something that already exists.
Two piece skirt dress worn for my sisters wedding -£3 from the car boot sale, originally from zara!
A big bonus as well is that I must be saving money along the way! I get a huge buzz when people comment on a new dress or a new coat I’m wearing and can respond that “it only cost me a pound!”. There is also a great feeling knowing that something that I am wearing or using has been used and owned by someone else before me, I feel as though this way my clothes have a bit more character and a bit more interest than just your standard high-street top that everyone is wearing this month because they’ve all trawled through the same shops and seen the same glossy magazine adverts.
So the message is simple - play the charity shop game! When your wardrobe needs a bit of a spruce up, hunt through those charity shops and see the potential in their items, knowing that you’ll be supporting charities and a good cause as well, rather than a seemingly questionable fast fashion industry.
Trainers rescued from a camp site in new zealand - my size and now wear them every day!
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