• biancaffoley

Could You Go 3 Months Without Any New Clothes?

As some of you may know, I recently took part in the No New Clothes challenge for the first quarter of this year. As part of my journey to living a more ethically minded lifestyle, I want to reduce my consumption and begin to wear what I already have.

As part of the challenge you can only buy pre-loved items except for underwear, pyjamas and socks. The whole idea is to encourage you to change your shopping habits and prioritise second-hand where you can!

People like Lauren Bravo, author of How To Break Up With Fast Fashion, decided to take the plunge for an entire year and I know a lot of you are thinking that is such a long time, but I do think that once you get into the groove, that it becomes so much easier. I would love to challenge you to try it for a designated period of time, whether it be a month, 3 months of even a full year.

Overall, I found the experience quite liberating, I found that I had time to dedicate to other tasks as I wasn’t spending time browsing or even being able to go into a store, however there are a few things I wanted to share with you before you embark on taking up the challenge yourself…

I started the challenge 1st January and for the whole of that month, it was an absolute breeze, possibly because it was so cold, we were still in lockdown and I sure as heck wasn’t going anywhere! February was also quite easy, but in the final month of the challenge in March, I did find myself browsing online a bit more, but thankfully, still not buying.

[In the spirit of full disclosure, I did make one sizable purchase towards the end of the period, a beautiful bag that I had my eyes on for some time. I bought it from a second hand retailer, Vestiaire Collective and it was a second hand Gucci bag. She is a beauty and I will have her forever!]

I found that I kept wearing the same items on repeat - showing me that there is some truth in the statement “you wear 20% of your wardrobe 80% of the time”. I also found that I came across pieces that I had completely fallen out of love with so decided to part ways with them by selling them on Depop. I also found that I had a few duplicate pieces/styles in my wardrobe. I would like to think that I have a personal style but now it was right there, in my face, looking back at me in the clothes I wear. If anything, this challenge has made me realise that I need to condense my wardrobe even more and make the decision to only shop when totally necessary. Being someone who uses Instagram almost everyday, there were times where I would be influenced into wanting something that I wanted on impulse, but found myself searching the second hand stores first and if it wasn’t available, putting the idea out of my mind altogether. During the challenge, I found myself, saving & following brands that promote ethical living, slow fashion and sustainability more and I now have a list of go to brands for different pieces that I can go to now that the challenge is complete.

A few things to note before you start your #nonewclothes challenge:

1 - Make sure that you have had a good look at your wardrobe beforehand. Make sure your space is organised based on need. For example, if it is winter, make sure you have easy access to your knitwear and coats as these are the pieces you’ll be wearing most.

2 - Clear out anything that you don’t fit in or won’t be wearing in the immediate future and if you have space, store them somewhere else, if not, then move them to the back of your wardrobe.

3 - Unsubscribe from mailing lists - you do not need the constant reminders (a point raised in the previously mentioned, “How To Break Up With Fast Fashion”.)

4 - Delete shopping apps from your most used devices - as with the above point, you don’t need the temptation/reminder!

To be honest, I have started browsing again but only because I know that I can, but I have noticed that if there is anything that I really like, I check second hand sites first and save the items. I have become less inclined to browse on my phone and will always go for second-hand over brand new if it is available. One of my favourite ways to avoid shopping but still get my fix is by renting. I like to use apps like ByRotation, Hurr and Onloan to rent clothing for a commitment free way of trying out new clothing and helping to create a circular fashion economy

I would love to know if this is something you would be willing to take part in. Feel free to message me on Instagram and let me know how you are getting on with your #nonewclothes challenge…

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