What I’ve learned from ‘no new clothes for a year’

What I've learned from no new clothes for a yearAbout a year ago, I wrote that I was going to buy no new clothes for a full year. My motivations were to save money and to move towards a more sustainable, ethically-minded approach to fashion. So how did I go?

Well. I, uh, still bought clothes. So, I guess that didn’t work out like I’d hoped.

I could tell that my grand plan probably wasn’t going to work too well when I still hadn’t broken old habits a month into my self-imposed challenge. It was a steady downward slide from there on.

However, I was definitely much more conscious about what I was buying, particularly when my wardrobe space shrunk and so did my available spending money. I made far fewer purchases over the past year compared to my previous habits. I’ve also shifted my focus towards retailers who scored favourably on the 2015 Australian Fashion Report.

So what exactly have I learned from all this? Continue reading

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How to find ethical fashion in Australia

how to find ethical fashion australia

Updated July 2015 to incorporate the latest ‘Behind the Barcode‘ report from Baptist World Aid Australia

It’s not easy to figure out where to shop for clothes in Australia if you want to be ethically-minded about it. There is no single resource to tell you which companies have traceable and transparent supply chains or are paying fair wages to garment manufacturers. The closest resource is website Good On You, which gives a simple rating of many clothing brands.

I was curious to know how all my favourite clothing stores stacked up when it came to ethics and social responsibility. Well, they’re not all my favourites (there’s quite a lot), but I decided to go through and list pretty much every store where I’ve made more than one purchase before. It’s by no means a comprehensive list, and is simply my attempt to track down as much information as I can find on the Internet about each clothing store where I have shopped in the past, or am considering for future purchases. Continue reading

No new clothes for a year

no new clothes for a year

It was the latest arrival of a package in the mail that finally did it.

My Dad remarked that the Australia Post contractor who delivered parcels in our area was becoming so familiar with our address, he and Dad would exchange a knowing look with each other as my Dad accepted yet another delivery.

“Another one for Emma?” my Dad would ask.

The contractor would nod wearily as Dad signed for whatever my latest mail-order purchase was.

And, as always, I grabbed the scissors and tore open the parcel to find new clothes. An exciting new thing to wrap around myself, made from a luxurious fabric or in a gorgeous rich colour or with an excellent flattering cut. And then I would need to find somewhere to store it in my increasingly overcrowded, overstuffed wardrobe which was practically bursting at the seams and rapidly running out of spare coat hangers.

On this occasion, there were no spare hangers. Continue reading