I believe that over the years I have truly earned my Gold Medal in one particular category. Yes, that shiny golden glistening medal has had my name engraved on it a few times now. I have trained extremely hard in this field and my dedication and focus have prepared me for a stellar display of this skill at any time, day or night. In fact, I have become so disciplined in this area of expertise that I can say I have even lost a pound or two!
Woah….. hold on, I’m not talking about an Olympic sport here. There is no athleticism involved in my outstanding achievements. Actually, the only pounds I have lost are Great British Pounds…..and yes, I’m aware that’s not the kind of pound I should be aiming to lose, particularly in January!
You see, following my years of training, I think I can safely say that I’m a Gold Medalist at Shopping Justification! If you’re innocent enough to be wondering what the hell I’m banging on about then you can just ask my bank manager! However, I’m going out on a limb here and thinking that I’m not the only one who has perfected the art of justifying every shopping purchase known to man!
Fast fashion facts and factors
The annual fashion detox that people tend to do in the New Year or Spring will no doubt be seriously damaging for the environment. It is estimated that a staggering “three quarters of British consumers admit to binning their discarded garments” with “26% of clothing was disposed of because the consumer didn’t like it anymore” (Alden Wicker- How fashion is wasted- Loved Clothes Last Zine #2- Fashion Revolution)
It’s sad to think that the crazy fast turnover of trends that catch our eye and wallets are not only affecting our shopping mindset and wardrobe choices but are now also having a dramatic effect on our planet . The Copenhagen Fashion Summit ‘Pulse of the industry’ report claims that “fashion is responsible for 92 million tons of waste per year globally representing 4% of the 12.2 billion tons of waste we dump globally each year.”
Obviously it’s important to recycle or donate clothing but it goes deeper than that. It’s time to slow down those initial shopping paces and only buy things that we adore and want to wear often.
Bring on the wisdom
The good news is that I’m becoming wiser. Are you? My shopping habits and approach are no longer going down the road of ‘my eyes are bigger than my wardrobe’. Now I’ve hit my 4th decade, I feel I’m defining my style, my lifestyle, understanding of the eco effects of fast fashion and quite frankly, finally arriving at the realisation that I simply no longer give a f*&% about what people think of what I’m wearing and what my individual style is all about.
This New Year I have been avoiding the sales. Now don’t get me wrong, this is not because I’m filthy rich or because I dislike a bargain! It’s because I’ve put the brakes on reckless shopping and I’ve slammed my foot against the pedal in mindless buying.
Let’s face it, January is a dodgy time of year! The consequences of the festive season are kicking in. Waistlines and Visa card balances across the land are all crying. It all seemed so much bloody fun at the time. I’m noticing the essence of the post-Christmas calm is now in full flow after that hectic December schedule. But instead of taking time to chill and reflect, some of us are declaring that we’ll just pop out to the shops or have a 5 minute swipe on our screens to take a peek at the sales and see what we can find.
So with this, as your trusty Fashion Economist, I thought I’d take a peek at some of the little white lies we tell ourselves and throw in our shopping baskets. As always, there is never any judgment from my end as that halo I’m wearing today has not always been so shiny and sparkly. In fact, I’d go as far to say that it’s been pretty rough and rusty in the past! I am, however, confident that some people can relate to some of the little white shopping lies that I’ve listed below and may benefit and take a bit of inspiration from the shopping savvy wisdom I have learnt to throw back at these moments – afterall, our planet is counting on it.
Now don’t go all defensive on me and start tutting. I’m thinking that if you have ‘that’ bag that’s currently been sat in your car for a week because you are waiting for ‘the right moment’ to take it into your home, then you can probably relate! I’m also thinking that if you have spent 15 minutes staring at your phone screen or stood in front of a fitting room mirror asking yourself “do I need this? I don’t need this, do I? I don’t really need to buy this, do I? Do I need this?” Then you can absolutely relate!!
Ok, so grab the last of the chocolates from the Quality Street tin – anyone want my strawberry creams?! Or maybe you are also holding that Baileys bottle upside down over a glass for 5 minutes, trying to get the very last drop out!! Either way, join me in laughing over some of the little white lies that can sometimes also go in our shopping baskets.
The little white shopping lies that may have gone into your shopping bag and how to respond to them!
- “I love it so much that I may need to buy a back up” – Think of that pair of sunglasses that you adore. You spy them in the end of season sale and declare that you may need to buy the same pair again just as a back up! What the f*&%?! Whatever happened to having something and loving it so much that you look after it? Do you really need a back up? Are you a five-year old child and risk leaving those Sunnies in the sandbox? No. Then maybe we should buy less and actually take responsibility for it! No back up is required.
- “I found this top that I love but it’s 2 sizes smaller…I’ll buy it as an incentive to slim into it” – FFS!….A top that will fit Polly Pocket is not a ‘sign’ to eat dust and beat yourself up because you don’t possess a 2 inch waist. No amount of lemon water for a mini-me sized top is worth feeling deprived and miserable for. Love yourself, love your shape, love who you are and do not bloody give the top (that is waiting for Polly pissing Pocket to buy it) another ounce of your time. There is nothing wrong in finding a nice top on the sales rack and it clearly not having your name on it! Put it down to being a #LovedItLeftIt item.
- “If I buy this expensive cool gym gear, then I’ll actually go to the gym” – Really? Oh my stars! I hadn’t realised that if I bought a Lululemon sports tank and shorts then ‘Lulu bloody lemon’ herself would actually nip out to the gym at 9pm and do that cardio hitt session for me whilst I lay in bed watching The Crown on Netflix with a cup of tea! It’s a miracle!! Oh wait…. no it isn’t. The matter is very simple. You have a gym membership? You want to excercise to get a healthy body and mind? You want to increase your energy levels and not spend your time sat on the sofa rifling through the Matches sale section? Great, go to the gym then! We do have choice in our lives. No athletic clothing label or price tag should effect what you do for yourself! Lulu ain’t going to build my strength and stamina in one swipe of the credit card in cerise pink spandex! Do it for yourself and not for this white shopping lie!
- “If I spend another $60 then I get free shipping and save $6.95! “ What the actual f*&%! I’ve pondered over this equation many times! Lol. It’s fine to buy multiple things in one order and make the most of the free shipping offer but only if you really need them. If it’s a case of buying just the one thing you really want then surely it’s worth the shipping? Lets break it down. If you are about to embark on an order of a $20 t-shirt + $6.95 shipping then all you are having to pay out is $26.95. I know, I know…. you think I’m ridiculous for pointing this simple math-out. But hands up if you have actually gone on to ‘save yourself ‘ a shipping fee and added a) $20 t-shirt in another colour – not your fave colour but you’re looking to save shipping + b) $80 pair of shoes + c) $40 on a bag in the sale that you wouldn’t normally consider but you thought it might work with your navy coat and therefore you are saving shipping fees? Jeepers bloody creepers, look at that….. you’ve just coughed up $160 to save yourself $6.95. I’m laughing hysterically now but I don’t think I’m the only one who has scouted the Topshop sales section desperately looking for something in my size so that I can order it, hang it up, never wear it, and all in order to save $6.95!!
- “At the end of the day, life is too short. If you love it, then buy it” – Now, as I re-read these words it’s become clear to me that none of them rearrange to spell out “buy whatever you bloody want”. Yes, life is too precious and too short that we truly should just love every minute of it as best we can. But to be honest, if I thought I only had the remainder of today to live my life before I pop my clogs then I’d actually be scrambling to grab and hold my nearest and dearest close to me to squeeze and love! I know I definitely would not be scrambling to the Topshop ‘new arrivals’ section to try to score the highly anticipated and predicted sell out item of the season!! You CAN love something living, you can’t truly love things!
- ” It’s only a tenner, even if I just wear it once” This is that random find piece that you pick up in a shop when you’ve actually gone in to buy something else. You didn’t go searching for this sweatshirt at the Grocery store, you don’t need another grey sweatshirt and you don’t know why you are even holding it your hand? You went in to buy milk and eggs yet left the shop with a grey sweatshirt because “it was only £10 and even if you just wear it once, then its paid for itself”. This is a classic case of building up a wardrobe full of shite you don’t really like and of things that mean nothing to you when you wear them. That £10 could have gone towards something you really adore. In fact those 10 pieces that you bought for “it’s only a tenner” have not only contributed to the fast fashion industry issues but have dragged you away from ever hoping to save up for the £100 dream jumper you have always admired and lusted after, but deemed too expensive to even consider.
So there we go, just a few of the white shopping lies that have gone into my shopping bags over the years! Lol. These days I’m taking a completely different approach. I’m no longer sat up till midnight on Christmas Day waiting for the Zara sale to kick in – instead I’m sat in one my vintage jackets that I bloody adore and have proudly already worn 5 times already this month! I don’t feel the need to wake up and put on my shopping battle gear for the New Years sales as I’m more than happy wearing my fave things I own. Why do I need to go and hunt for more things to add confusion to my morning “what shall I wear” conundrum.
All I’m saying is that maybe we should make the most of January as a month to relax and reflect as opposed to hunt and gather the best of the sales finds. It always comes down to me buying less and ditching my shopaholic shopping days, making more mindful choices that are thought through and help me express my individual style.
As always, there is no judgment – you do you. But if I can make you laugh and possibly think a little deeper about those bags that are still hiding out in your car boot – then it’s worth a 10 minute read with that ‘winner winner chicken dinner’ chocolate truffle that you found in the Quality Street tin and actually thought was a ghastly strawberry cream. What a result!
Thanks for reading
#Outfit Of The Day: Vintage navy wool college varsity jacket from 2525 Vintage, Hayward – California, Levi 501’s, Dr Marten 8 hole black patent leather boots and Cream knit bobble hat from Asos 4 years ago!
#Read Of The Day: Loved Clothes Last – Zine #2 – A Fashion Revolution publication – Available from www.fashionrevolution.org