‘Buy less, choose well, make it last’
Just before Vivienne Westwood showed her latest fashion collection recently she said she has a new motto: ‘Buy less, choose well, make it last.’ In fact she went further to say ‘I don’t really care about fashion’ and ‘don’t buy this collection’!
I have to say I agree with her totally. I didn’t see the recent Panorama program showing the poor working conditions in Bangladesh. I didn’t need to. Ever since watching the Story of Stuff I got the picture. You buy something cheaply and you aren’t the only person paying for it.
In fact I have been avoiding buying new clothes altogether for some time now, preferring to buy them from charity shops. It’s been great because whenever I want a new outfit I can have one, with little guilt or cost. However I have started to realise that just because they are secondhand, cheap and ethical it doesn’t mean I should have loads of clothes. I am still overusing precious resources.
I believe we need a cultural change. We need to only buy good quality, long lasting clothes (new or secondhand) and wear them again and again. Instead of feeling like we need to impress people by wearing a different outfit each time we see them, we need to start feeling proud about being seen out in the same outfit from one week to the next!
A few years ago there was a lady who wore the same brown dress for a year. Jen and Grant from the Clean Bin Project didn’t buy anything at all new or secondhand for a year. Jen Gale made do and mended for a year and Gok Wan showed us how to create a capsule wardrobe. These people have shown us that we don’t need all these clothes, there is another way. I believe if we want things to change we have to start with ourselves and one by one we can make a difference!