Let’s face it, the act of buying clothing these days has very little to do with our need to cover our bodies, and far more about our discontent and disconnect with what really makes us feel loved, accepted, and self fulfilled.
Unconscious fast-fashion marketing and spending is directly dialled into our vanity, greed and ignorance about how and why we’re offered a gluttony of cheap, trendy and often poorly-made, yet visually appealing fashionable pieces.
Yet times are changing. We’re embracing new ways of living more intentional lives through becoming more accountable in our consumerism.
Yet a new year’s resolution or pledge can seem daunting; too finite and the fear of failure too much of an embarrassment if one doesn’t stick to it. Perhaps the thought immediately triggers a feeling of deprivation, making us want to stick to our normal shopping habits.
As a vegan I see this often; the veg-curious scared off by veganism because they believe it’s just too much of a change. So just as Meatless Monday and Taco Tuesdays give the curious an entry point towards a veg centric lifestyle, so too is a sustainable fashion pledge an invitation to explore new ground.
I certainly bit off more than I could chew last January when I pledged not to buy any newly produced clothing for 2017.
So here are my 7 ideas to overcome any fear of failure:
- Find the why: Research and learn how your contribution to a more sustainable wardrobe benefits animals, the garment industry workers and our environment. To focus on the bigger picture empowers us to look beyond our personal desires.
- Don’t compare: We all have to start somewhere. Your journey is as admirable as anyone else’s. Maybe halving your monthly fashion purchases is your entry point into being more sustainable, while for another it may be a shopping ban for 6-months or a year.
- Be kind on yourself: Set your guidelines and if you waver, then simply get back on track from that point forward.
- Share your experience: Find someone who is keen to support you, either by joining you or by showing you their support.
- Set your own pace: Commit to a pace of change you can handle and doesn’t overwhelm you. Some of us need a slower pace than others who can embrace change overnight.
- The power of pause: Hold off on any of these purchases for at least 48 hours, then review your ‘need’ for them. Once the initial elation of finding something new wears off, it often loses it’s ‘must have’ appeal.
- Journal your journey: You could call this financial journalling. By writing down ALL your clothing/accessory purchases, the reality of the frequency and money spent on these purchases is brought into full view. Totalling it up can be surprising!
We only fear something we don’t understand, so by taking a pledge you’ll be in a state of learning – and learning, while taking action, can be a powerful change maker!