Think about all the energy and chemicals that go into producing cloth, sewing a shirt, packaging the shirt, and then marketing and advertising the shirt. Not to mention the fuel used at as the cotton is shipped to a production plant, then the cloth is shipped to a factory, then the shirts are shipped to a warehouse, and then out to stores. Whew!
Compare this to a second hand shirt which likely traveled from a person’s house to the second-hand store. Also, by reusing the shirt, it diverted from a landfill. Winner!
Plus, I have honestly enough clothes. I really do. (Uh, just don’t tell my husband I said that.) With a small closet and a dresser full of clothing – I’m not going naked any time soon. I examined the reasons I buy new clothes – for a specific occasion or because I’m bored with my clothes. I’m not a huge shopper, anyhow. (Malls give me hives. It used to be fun to ‘hang out’ there in middle or high school, but now I never go unless I have to get something specific to pick up. Like H2Ocean at Hot Topic. And let’s not talk about how much I stuck out like SORE THUMB at Hot Topic in my little floral skirt and purple-streak-less hair. I felt like shouting, “DON’T JUDGE ME! I HAVE NOSE RING! AND BELLY BUTTON RING! I’M REBELLIOUS, TOO!” See, that’s what malls do to me. I feel utterly un-cool at them. And overwhelmed. Moving on.)
So, How’s It Going?
I mentioned that sometimes I buy clothes because I’m bored with my wardrobe. And then sometimes I don’t even wear the new clothes much. And then sometimes I realize I’m getting rid of things I HARDLY WORE. It’s a painful cycle of mistake clothes bought out boredom. Buying second-hand makes this a little less annoying, because at least if I get rid of something I hardly wore, I didn’t buy it brand new – wasting all of the resources (including MY MONEY) that went into the clothing.
It still makes me mad at myself, though.
I also tend to fall into that terrible trap of not wearing everything I own because I have too much of it. Paradoxically, when I have less clothes cluttering up my closet, I wear more things! It’s amazing!
Simpler = better, once again.
I satiated my clothes boredom by shopping at Plato’s Closet twice this month – a grand total of $50 for a pair of shoes and half a dozen shirts. Win.
- Try not to rule out second-hand clothing because you think it’s OMG! SO NASTY! to wear other people’s clothing until you check out a consignment shop for yourself. There are plenty of higher-end consignment shops that even a person who would never THINK of stepping foot into a thrift store would adore.
- Be prepared for thrift stores that don’t have changing rooms. Sad, but true. I’ve been known to wear a skirt and leggings to try on pants – just hike up the skirt and wiggle into those jeans! Or try on shirts over a tight tank top. Or have a friend hold a sheet around me. I have no shame. But I’m fun in a thrift store!
- Scope out stores in nice suburbs or neighborhoods – the kinds of places where people might shudder at the thought of wearing Banana Republic clothes from last season. Their loss, your gain.
- Take your clothes to a consignment shop or second hand store and you might just make a little money. If all else fails: Goodwill! Never throw away what can be reused…or Mother Earth will smite you.
- For young adults: Plato’s Closet. Yeah, it’s for juniors – but I’ve found tons of insanely cute, name brand clothes in there. Just be prepared for feeling like a teenager.
- Wash it before you wear it. Yep. Do it.
- Clean out your closet! I cannot say it enough - simple is better. You will be happy. I promise you.