This year, we've set ourselves a goal to buy no new clothes, and here's why:
Did you know that the average Australian buys 27 kilos of new clothes and other textiles every year? Did you also know that 85 % of this then ends up in landfills?
The apparel industry currently produces about 10 % of humanity’s total carbon emissions, making it one of the most polluting industries in the world. It currently produces more carbon dioxide than international flights and maritime shipping combined. It’s also the second-largest consumer of the world’s water supply.
Fashion and textiles is an industry that creates a lot of joy for many of us, but it’s something that can be controlled and considered at a much more critical level. We've covered the importance of an ethical wardrobe, but now it's time to talk about the cost that fashion is having on our planet. In 2014, shoppers bought 60% more garments than they did in 2000, and on average only kept their clothes for half as long.
The good new is that we can change the way we shop, and at a little cost of our own!
We'd like to invite our lovely Kappi community to consider their own consumption of clothes and textiles, and if you're up for it, we welcome you to join us on our goal to buy no new clothes this year.
Here are some of our top tips to reduce (or completely stop) your consumption of clothes and textiles this year:
- The point is no NEW clothes, which means that rescuing clothes from Op Shops is a-ok in our book. The whole point of this challenge is to consider an item’s value to you before handing over your hard earned cash.
- At the beginning of your challenge, take stock of what you already have. If you have anything that you love, but is broken: mend it! It’s as simple as that. Own suff you know you’re not going to wear? Donate it! It will make it so much easier to choose what you’re going to wear each morning. You can replace it with something you know you’ll love and will wear often.
- Much like Steve Jobs, we’re big into ‘uniforms’ at Kappi, (although we could never rock a turtleneck like he does). Staple pieces with versatility are more our style. We prefer to invest in quality items that we know were created ethically, that will last! For the next year though, many of these staple pieces can be found for a bargain at your local secondhand store. Something else to consider: no one really notices what you wear each day. Sorry to break it to you so bluntly, but it’s the truth. Have a think back, what did your coworker wear yesterday, or the day before? Exactly; we can’t remember either.
- If you are going to buy something secondhand - good on you! First, ask yourself if you would still buy it at full price. No? Then don’t do it! “But it’s a really good deal,” syndrome effects all of us, but if you don’t love it completely then it’s not for you. Typically when buying new items, we operate on a guideline of being able to walk away from an item, and-if you’re still thinking about it 48 hours later, it’s the right choice.
- Have an event coming up that you want to look your best at? Look into renting an outfit for the occasion. There are so many place online that offer that killer dress you’re after, at a fraction of the price. Even better- borrow something from a friend. They’ll take it as a huge compliment that you liked it so much and remembered them wearing it.
- If your runners, work shoes or socks and undies break on you: don’t freak out, we’ll give you a free pass. Just promise us one thing-you’ll invest in something quality that’s going to last you this time and that goes with everything. I had the same thing happen to me right at the beginning of our challenge, so to replace my crummy old work shoes, I bought a pair of vegan Doc Martens that are going to last me for life.
- Hot tip: no more window shopping, be that online or in person. It’s so not helpful in sticking to your guns. Instead, look to Pinterest for outfit inspiration or check out how people manage to build a capsule wardrobe that brings them joy day in, day out.
As usual, our goal is to approach these commitments with an open mind. We understand that this might feel like a huge sacrifice- it was for us too. However, putting your mind to it is half the battle, and we encourage you to give it a red hot go!
Is this something you're doing already or would like to try? Let us know!