Hello. My name is Maria and I am a charity shop addict. Starting in January 2018, I’ve set myself the challenge of buying myself no new clothes the entire year and instead wearing as many different combinations of my existing wardrobe, with the odd second hand item thrown in to keep things interesting, for the entirety of 2018. It started as a money saving exercise but also had a more emotional aspect too. I was finding myself getting lost down the rabbit hole of social media, and scrolling through huge fashion accounts showing off the must have latest fashion trends. They were starting to make me feel miserable. I decided to pull myself together and choose to fall in love with my wardrobe again and prove to myself that I have enough. As Ann Patchett wrote recently in The New York Times about her year of no shopping, saying, “If you stop thinking about what you might want, it’s a whole lot easier to see what other people don’t have.”
Saying ‘No’ to Fast Fashion
There is another side to my campaign, and this is the aspect that motivates me more than saving money. I am learning more about the damage it’s doing to our planet and the devastating effects of the fast fashion industry on the factory workers and their families, and about. This week (w/c 23rd April 2018) is Fashion Revolution Week which marks the 5th anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse where 1,138 people died and another 2,500 people were injured, making it the fourth largest industrial disaster in history. Most of the victims were young women. The Fashion Revolution is a global movement that aims to change the way the fast fashion industry works, to improve the working conditions and pay of these factory workers who make these clothes.
How’s it all going?
What started out as a money saving exercise has turned into so much more than that. Here are some musings on how it’s going so far…
– I am learning so much about the devastating effects of fast fashion, and am asking #whomademyclothes
– I am realising the power and significance of voting with my wallet for a world I want to live in
– I have found some amazingly stylish women doing similar projects – Becky (also founder of Leeds Community Clothes Exchange) and Emma are personal fave accounts
– I am feeling far happier and more grateful for what I have. Not having the option to go into clothes shops has been so liberating. I have no idea what is ‘in fashion’ – and it feels good! I’m trying to be more confident with my style choices rather than following what’s on trend.
This is such awesome stuff! Good luck Maria! Anybody else saying no to buying more clothes or turning away from fast fashion?
Maria lives with her husband and 3 kids by the sea in Bournemouth. Recently she’s been trying to educate herself about the impact she’s having on the environment; from the food she eats to the clothes she’s wearing. This is one of the reasons why she started her ‘Nothing New for a Year’ project this January. Check out some of Maria’s outfit posts on Instagram and Facebook. She also share articles around this topic on Twitter and her blog.