Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Lifestyle Reboot - January: Fast Fashion

The time has come, my friends, to announce my first challenge of the year! For those of you who read my post yesterday, I apologize for keeping you in suspense all day. I hope you were still able to sleep last night. For those that haven't and would like to know what challenges I'm talking about, please check out yesterday's post. 

My challenge for this month was inspired by a trip to Target on Sunday. All I needed was toothpaste and yet, just moments after entering the store, I found myself browsing the women's clearance section. How did that even happen!? How does it happen every. single. time.? I managed to walk away empty handed (this time), but it got me thinking about my clothing-buying habits. 

About a year ago, I went on a bender of getting rid of stuff from all over my house, particularly my closet. It's been amazing. I had no idea how much guilt I felt every time I tried to get dressed until I cleaned out all of the pieces that I just wasn't wearing. (Seriously, please ask me about this. I can't even tell you how great getting rid of stuff has been. I had no idea when I started how much I would like it. Maybe I'll have to write about that sometime...)

Letting go of so much stuff has made me a lot more mindful about the new things that I'm bringing home. I have gotten a lot better over the past year about only buying pieces that I really like and am certain will be very functional in my life, rather than buying things that are "good enough" just because they are super cheap. 

However, I think I can do better to make my clothing-buying habits even more sustainable, so this month I am giving up fast fashion. For me, that means buying only clothing and accessories that are secondhand, handmade or from a company with socially and environmentally sustainable practices. Even though I am working to reduce the amount of personal clothing waste I create by not buying things that I am just going to turn around and get rid of, there is a lot of waste being created further up the supply chain. Fast fashion means that items are made quickly and cheaply and are meant to be out of style and discarded in a year. Additionally, from what I understand, a lot of material gets wasted in the process. (We could also talk about factory working conditions, but this isn't meant to be a soapbox.) I'd like to avoid as many of these things as I can. 

To be perfectly honest, I don't actually think this is going to be a very difficult challenge for me. I have always been a big fan of the thrift store and I don't actually buy clothing that often. I could probably just go a whole month without buying any. My goal here is more about changing mental habits. I want to make the Target racks off-limits and retrain my brain to think of other avenues for buying clothing. I want to make fast fashion items a last resort and get myself used to shopping differently. 

This is one challenge that I am intending to carry on for more than a month mostly because I don't think a month will be long enough for me to really feel it and actually make those changes. Don't worry though, I'll still check in at the end of January and take on another challenge for February. I'm looking forward to sharing what I learn (and buy)!

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