The beginning of the New Year is the perfect time to reflect and look to the year ahead. This year, why not make the decision to not buy new clothing for a year? The fashion industry is one of the largest sources of the waste that is piling up in our landfills. For instance, a cotton t-shirt uses approximately 70 gallons of water to produce. 15 to 20 percent of fabric used to make clothing ends up in landfills. It is important for everyone to do their part in reducing the waste they contribute to through the fashion industry.
While at first glance it may seem impossible to go a whole year without buying new clothes, it only seems that way because of today’s fast paced consumer culture. A few short decades ago, people repurposed and made do with what they had instead of buying new and in excess at every opportunity.
This is a great opportunity to challenge yourself and re-evaluate how you see ‘stuff’. Here are the general rules:
- NO new clothes – this means no brand new or secondhand clothes.
- You can make or mend clothes, but only using fabric you currently have.
- No new shoes or accessories.
While if you’re undertaking this challenge you should try to stick to the rules as much as possible, it is understandable that some exceptions may have to be made. Perhaps you’ll start with just avoiding buying brand new clothes, or you’ll avoid buying all clothes but you’ll allow yourself to purchase fabric to make or mend clothing.
During this year, you may find clothing that you haven’t worn in months or years that will become a loved part of your regular wardrobe. Instead of spending money on often unneeded clothes, you will have more to spend on time with friends and family, and occasions rather than things. At the end of the year, you’ll have a realistic view of what you actually need in your wardrobe, and will be able to focus even more on what’s important.
Besides clothing, there are several other green New Year’s resolutions you can adopt, such as not purchasing bottled water, using reusable bags, biking or walking instead of driving, decreasing your meat consumption, replacing your lightbulbs, and more!
It’s easy to keep New Year’s resolutions when they have so many benefits, both for yourself and the planet. Write down and keep track of your goals and progress, and don’t forget to reward yourself when you reach certain milestones!