Why & How I've Stopped Buying Clothes


Recently I've been hooked onto the fast-fashion issue again, after watching Stacey Dooley's documentary 'Fashion's Dirty Secrets' (which I would 100% recommend to you!) Documentaries like that push me into the mindset of being more aware of my personal impact on the planet. For me, the one thing I believe I could do to prevent my impact on the fashion industry (arguably the 2nd most polluting on the planet to oil/coal) is to stop buying clothes.

The clothing industry has gotten tough to avoid, with consistent 'sale' signs and cheap prices shown on social media. Instagram models also contribute to this marketing, by promoting the brands, simply by tagging where they bought their clothes from. Can we avoid the messages sent to make us want and not need? It initially seems difficult to cut out spending on clothing, as a teenage girl it seems to be all I ever spend my money on (not forgetting concert tickets) but my motivation to reduce my impact on the world pushes me to do it! Clothing has become a disposable item to buy, many people replace them each year as the trends move on, how about considering looking after your clothes and getting the most wears out of them as possible?

Alongside watching the fast-fashion documentary, I've been considering ways to make buying vintage, secondhand and ethical more attractive, but I also thought that what if not buying at all is an option? As an owner of too many clothes (though 60% of my wardrobe is secondhand or vintage) I thought it would be a good test for myself, whether I'd actually choose to wear all of my clothes, rather than just a select few. I started to put clothing on the hanger in reverse (the curved hook on the clothes hanger not facing me) once I have worn items, to remind me of what I have and haven't worn. I borrowed this idea from minimalist videos on decluttering, which they use it to decide which items of clothing they don't wear anymore. However, this method only makes me want to wear the clothes I haven't worn yet to almost justify my ownership of it - making it useful for this challenge! I want to eliminate the stigmas around 'wearing the same outfit twice' - but also make use of all of my clothing.

This may seem dramatic, or unnecessary, but I think my wardrobe has enough clothing in to last me pretty much forever. I am challenging myself to see how long I can last without buying any new clothing for myself, this includes vintage clothing, secondhand clothing and of course high-street fast fashion clothing. Not only will my challenge to stop buying clothes altogether remind me that buying clothes regularly is not essential, but I'm hoping that I will save SO much money. I've started saving up for my future travels and potentially buying a car, meaning I'm hoping that my cutting out of clothing spending will help me reach my savings goals faster!

I officially started my challenge on the 1st October, therefore my challenge could be labelled as a 'Stoptober' (thank you Katie for pointing this out), but I'm hoping this will carry through much longer than just October. If I can make it to the end of 2018 without purchasing anything I will be proud. Maybe buying less will remind me that I don't need to continue to buy on a regular basis? 

How have I made my 'No Buying Clothing' challenge easier?
→ I've unfollowed all shops on Instagram e.g Topshop which posts daily about their new items, their sales. They tend to use a lot of marketing techniques through social media to make you want the clothes they are selling and make them more desirable. Cutting this from my feed has not only cleared my feed of shopping, but I cannot believe how their posts would make me think about shopping just from looking at their posts.

→ I've stopped going to online-shopping websites. In this day and age, online shopping is a killer to your bank account, it only takes a few mins of scrolling before... 'ooH I need that!' 'that top is so cute and cheap!' Don't even let yourself be tempted to buy clothes, that is my motto for this challenge.

→ Not going into high-street shops. Or any shops at this rate. Resist the temptation!

→ Although Depop is a much more ethical way to buy your clothes, it can be just as easy to spend all your money on it - the prices look so much cheaper, making it seem like you can afford more. I've stopped scrolling through my Depop feed and just focused on selling my clothes (my Depop is @elzyella)

→ Finally, I have organised the way I am going to be saving more money so that I feel motivated to save, rather than spend it all:
  • I've set up a standing order on my bank account which automatically transfers £20 into my savings every week - this way I am saving without thinking about it, but I can also put more into my savings if I want to!
  • I've been putting my Depop sales profits into my savings - I used to spend this money as I wasn't used to having it, I'm starting to 'hide' it away in my savings account so that I cannot access it as easily.
  • transferred my savings to an account I can't withdraw from easily. If I don't withdraw money from it in a month, I receive a much higher interest rate than if I withdraw money - meaning that I don't feel I can dip in and out of my savings, or use the money for spending.
  • I've set the goal of saving 75% of my work wage - I can still live my life and have the 25%, but considering that I'm still living at home and I'm doing my A-Levels, there is no need for me to keep spending money, unless I go out for the day, or am paying for food.
I'll be updating you on this topic in the future, letting you know if my challenge failed miserably or succeeded! What are your views on fast fashion? Would you consider not buying as many clothes, or buying second-hand as opposed to through fast fashion?

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