• rachel askelson

No New Clothes 2021 :: My Story

In 2015, I started getting really interested in fashion. That's kind of laughable if you know me, because I wouldn't say I'm 'fashionable'. This interest was seeded when I discovered the footprint that fashion has on our earth. I was blown away at the available statistics, and saddened at how I handled clothing. So, I started a spreadsheet, of course! And I began to make a list of the items of clothing that were essential, I marked what I already had and made notes of what I needed. My main focus was to only buy from eco-friendly / sustainable brands! I'd find myself doing A LOT of online window shopping for brands that fit this category and I then began to build out spreadsheets of this information. Sustainable fashion brands do not come cheap! And so many people are discouraged to pivot their shopping habits due to the high prices. However, the higher marked pricing comes with higher standards. To break it down, fast fashion brands are a lot like fast food. Cheap and easy, but leaves you feeling not so great afterward. How many wears do you actually get when purchasing a t-shirt from a fast fashion brand? How does it hold up when you wash it? When I began purchasing from conscious brands, I noticed a difference in the quality. I noticed a difference in the way I felt as I wore these items around, and began to notice how much more I cared for my clothing. Fast forward to present day... my closet feels good. I am proud of the brands I have supported over the years, many of them very small brands owned by women, and I love knowing that I have successfully transformed my closet into items I deeply care for.

But... with all that being said, I have a shopping addiction. I so easily succumb to emails from my favorite sustainable brands and too often click on their links that send me to some sort of sale and before I know it, I have just purchased something that I don't really need. This action happens mindlessly! I am in some sort of trance that triggers my brain telling me I must buy this item. I find myself feeling guilty later, wondering why I did that? So, here I am five years later after my sustainable fashion journey began, realizing maybe this isn't so sustainable after all. I am aware that I need to readjust my sustainable shopping habits. I am so proud of how I have completely supported eco-friendly / sustainable / small owned businesses over the years, but I am not proud of my over consumption. I am declaring my NO NEW CLOTHES journey to begin the first of January 2021.

I am nervous and excited all at once. This will be challenging for me, but I am eager to learn how to stop purchasing and just focus on the clothes that already fill my closet. If you are interested in tagging along, find my next post on the WHAT that will go into details of this journey.

Generally interested in fashion and the global effect it has?

WATCH: The True Cost

Not ready to commit to a No New Clothes year? Check out my curated Fashion Directory for all sustainable brands

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