I have been trying to do small nice things for myself every day, mainly to recover from a deep COVID weariness, and to get out into life again. This includes buying new things to wear after being in my trackie pants and old tees month after month in lockdown!
Strangely, when I think about doing something nice for myself, my thoughts and my feet immediately go to retail fashion therapy, but this has been very unsatisfying!
I have been wandering the shops, looking at fashion I don't even like, and trying to find something to bring me joy. I spend precious time in the shopping centres and come home with nothing. Something has changed within me and changed what I need.
The isolation of the pandemic gave me a pause, a time to think through the patterns of my life. One of the changes I want to make is to try to consciously step outside all the things that advertising is unremittingly telling me to do.
We are repeatedly taught through advertising that we need new clothing every year, to stay up to date with our wardrobes and to buy cheap pieces, and to throw away without thinking. Australia alone discards around 800,000 tons of textiles every year! This goes to landfill and takes decades to breakdown, and emitting significant Greenhouse Gas as it breaks down, OR, it goes to Op Shops for recycling. Ops Shops export significant amounts clothing to poor nations such as Haiti. They provide the nations people with cheap clothing, but also put the local clothing manufacturers out of business when they cannot compete with the donated clothings low prices. I think we need to learn to have beautiful wardrobes with less within them.
We can change this, we can change our habits!
Okay, Let's go!
- Fix Stuff: Often I think I need to replace an item because I don't have time to fix it! But the shopping takes longer than a 15 minute simple fix of a hem or a seam, or replacing a button. (PS: did you know op shops sell big jars of buttons? Useful, and strangely quite beautiful)
- Re-Arrange our wardrobes! When I can't find "anything to wear" it is often because I have so much clothing in there, that in the morning rush I cannot find inspiration. I need to sort out the stuff.
- Stop worrying about being unfashionable! I am going to TRY to stop getting caught up in the latest fashion themes and colours, and wear what suits me, and that I feel beautiful in.
- Buy Much Less: My daughter Ashleigh has a new fashion rule: buy one beautiful outfit, and one beautiful and quality pair of shoes per year, and love wearing them for years. This has got to be much more cost effective than impulse buying, and buying items we do not love and that will not last.
- Go through our wardrobes and take the old fabric to H&M where they recycle it. At the moment worldwide about 1% of fabric is recycled...
- Buy more clothing made from Cotton, Linen and other natural fibres. Let's make sure we buy clothing made from natural materials that create less waste and emit so much less greenhouse gases as they decompose.
Watching myself, I honestly believe I wear the items I love in my wardrobe for years. Clothing I thought about when I bought; Is it the right colour? Does it suit me? Is it versatile? Is it COMFORTABLE? Do I love it?
"Livia Firth is fashioning a new clothing rule; if you buy an item of clothing, wear it 30 times. Give your clothing a longer lifespan by buying better quality, and making savvier choices."
Our clothing and style is important, not only for privacy and for warmth, but as an expression of who we are! I like to feel that I look nice. But I also like to know that my clothing is ethically made, and is not causing harm to our planet or to the precious person who made it.
Photo: Lydia wears the NancyBird Echo Dress in Green Stripe
The Fair Trader stocks fashion that is carefully, slowly and ethically made. Our fashion is also made of natural and biodegradable fabrics, with non-plastic buttons. Our clothing is made to last. Each piece is comfortable and beautiful. I just want to wear my NancyBird clothing every day because it so comfy and I feel nice wearing it!
Come in and have a look at our ethical fashion! Try it on, buy something that will last, and that you will feel beautiful in. Keep it for years, wear it over and over again! I guarantee that you will be helping the amazing makers, and our precious planet if you do.
Photo: Bron wears the Nancybird Mina Sweatshirt
Eco Age Founder Livia Firth: Read Here
JOYN BAGS: Environmental problem of dye
H&M Recycling: Read here
Choice Magazine: Waking up to our textile Waste Problem