It is that time of year again; time to reflect on the past year and look ahead to the new one. I am taking it a step further and reflecting back on the past two years. As a green-living writer, I have researched, written and read a million articles about the wastefulness of the fashion industry, so all throughout 2013 I resolved to avoid buying any new clothes for myself. That’s right — for an entire year. Wendy-clothing-reuse.jpg Here is part of the reason I felt compelled to make that resolution: I made sure family and friends knew about my proposed resolution to guarantee I had people that would keep me accountable and be supportive of my undertaking. One thing I did not factor in to my resolution: My husband is a member of the local media, and he is often asked to emcee events and I am usually required to accompany him. I love doing it because I am able to show my support of a number of amazing local charities and play dress-up at the same time. But this year there would be no new dresses. Not the end of the world, I know, but it was something I had not entirely thought through. After successfully completing an entire year of abstaining from purchasing one single new clothing item, here is what I learned:
  • I had a closet full of clothes I had not seen in ages — some with tags still on them. Refusing new items for a year enabled me to really look at what I had in my closet and wear things I did not usually wear and donate items that I would not ever wear again.
  • We have some awesome thrift stores in our area that are full of clothing just waiting to be reused. This experiment really helped me discover them and appreciate their place in our community.
Now almost two year later, I am still extremely mindful what clothing items I purchase, not only for myself, but also for my husband and my two daughters. Quality companies that are aware of their products’ impact on the environment are always at the top of my list, along with companies that utilize recycled materials to make their clothing. Through all of this, I am hopeful that I am teaching my daughters how to be thoughtful consumers in a world that bombards us with products that we “need.” Looking ahead to 2015, my resolution is to have my daughters more involved with planning our daily purchases. I hope to have them help me with buying groceries, clothing, gifts and so on to teach them about responsible consumerism.