I once published a breakdown of my outfit on Instagram. All of the items I was wearing were gifted or donated to me. Consequently, my friend asked me: are you never gonna buy clothes again? I hesitated and then said yes, and no. Whilst I will pay an occasional visit to a local charity store, I will never buy fast fashion again. Instead of things, I focus on meanings.
Not buying clothes became a natural transition to me. Just like I slowly eliminated makeup, I started reconsidering the amount of things I buy that is necessarily to keep me alive. Of course it is not fail-proof, but I now take the time to think twice before every purchase. Thanks to the zero shop Nasyp si, where I became a regular visitor and a collaborator, I learnt to only buy what I need and will consume - be it food, cosmetics and cleaning products.
Buying in bulk opened my eyes and broadened my perspective when it comes to sustainability. It also created a new ritual in my life. Every week I prepare my boxes and set off to refill my pantry, fridge and beauty shelf. The atmosphere that lingers through these independent stores is incompareable to any chains. The owners are usually present and ready to offer a helping hand. They have also many tips and know loads about zero waste, ecology and the environment.
Back to clothing: when my friend asked me how I’m gonna get clothed in the future, I didn’t know how to answer. Having thought about her question again, I finally know the solution - buying secondhand. Even more likely than that, I simply won’t ever buy any more clothes and instead repair, reuse, recycle anything I own. If I can't fix something, I think of other things to use it. I donate unworn clothes to charity or swap with friends. And because I no longer grow or am gaining weight, I am confident that the items I wear now will fit me in the future and I will love and wear then endlessly.
Talking about things gives me shivers. Households are crammed with them but very few actually mean something to us.
When I say I’m never gonna buy any clothes again, I mean it. Talking about things gives me shivers. Our households are crammed with stuff but very few actually mean something to us. I’m yet to complete the 100 Thing Challenge by Dave Bruno, but I imagine the message will strongly resonate with me. Having accumulated so many possessions over my life, I can see that this access is yet to last. I am slowly finding ways to manage the load of everything I own and find a new life for the ‘things’ I no longer need nor appreciate. I thank them and pass them on (the KonMari way).
And so, I will continue buying food and products that are unnecessary to my life, but when it comes to other aspects, I will be more considerate. This doesn’t mean I will never but ANYTHING ELSE NEW again, but it is unlikely. I’m fortunate to be surrounded by a community of people who think and act the same, who are all very supportive and respect my decision.
To those of you who are deciding whether to go #zerowaste or not, I suggest you try one thing at a time and start with baby steps. Nobody’s perfect, so don't punish yourself. Only if you do one swap, it will be enough to live more plastic-free.