Apparel Breakup Affair: the beginning
A few months ago I participated in the Six Items Or Less experiment and it was a great experience for me. Since then I’ve tried to further explore my relationship with clothes and shopping. Do I buy clothes because I want them, because I need them, or because I like shopping? OR all three of them? Most of us have enough clothes for the next five lives and we wear only about 30% of what we own, yet we keep buying more and more. Why?
I’ve also been thinking whether clothes shape our identities or whether we choose clothes that reflect who we are. We buy clothes that say something about us from brands that have similar values to ours. We also buy clothes to fit in different circles and communities, regardless whether these brands and clothes express our personality or just our desire to be a part of something. Huge mess and a lot of questions in my head.
Where is this rambling going? Good question. Let’s get to the point.
Besides thinking about clothes (and buying clothes), I’ve also put a lot of thought into my New Year’s Resolution, mostly because I’ve never had one, but also because I want to change some things in my life in 2011. And one of the items on my NYR is to quit shopping for clothes during 2011 (aka Apparel Breakup Affair), a continuation of SIOL in a way.
Why am I doing this?
Because I am a masochist and this is my idea of fun. No, not really, I love shopping and clothes. I think it will be a good experiment for me to explore my creativity and the ways I express myself, and to take my devotion to mindful consumption to the next level.
The average American (yes, I know I am not the average American. I am not even American, but there are no stats about the average Bulgarian shopaholic who lives in the USA) tosses 67.9 pounds of clothing a year. Collectively, Americans discard two quadrillion pounds (that’s a two with fifteen zeros) of used clothing and textiles into landfills each year. Also, our spending on clothes and accessories means that the average American consumes 113 gallons of water a day just to make the clothes that we barely wear. Crazy, huh? Especially when you think about the one billion people who live without access to clean water.
Now let’s go shopping as if all stores will be closed during 2011. Just joking
Photo credit: Bixentro