Halfway through the ‘No New Clothes’ challenge. Here's what our Editor has discovered so far.

A wardrobe or closet with a minimalist selection of clothes and accessories

Halfway through the ‘No new clothes’ challenge! With everything that has been going on (see my life update here) this challenge hasn’t been that hard at all! Sure I’ve been tempted every now and then but I’ve honestly been too busy to go to the shops or go shopping online. Now that we are settling back into a routine, and without the bigger distractions, it will be the true test. Plus it’s been 6 months now, so there are a few things that I would like to buy. Maybe a nice cosy knit for the colder weather, or some new pj’s? Not essential but would be nice right?

Without the distractions of life, can we get distracted by the advertising? Sitting on socials, catching up with the news and what’s happening in the lives of our friends and families online. Researching. Those adverts that work their way into everything you do online. The temptation can be there. Something catches your eye and you unconsciously click on it… SALE! 50% off! DON’T MISS OUT! LIMITED TIME ONLY! But you’re just looking, right?! Is your willpower strong enough to resist? Maybe a sale making you feel like if you don’t get it now you will miss out! FOMO is real. But do you really, honestly need it?

People in a shopping mall with a Special Deal sign in the foreground

Advertising is an art form. Some people will study it for years, and then there are courses created online helping small businesses and entrepreneurs use advertising and marketing to help them succeed. It’s an integral part of business and if you need customers, you need to work out how to sell to them. Emotions are a huge factor when it comes to what people want to spend their money on. We are bombarded with information everyday and have become desensitised to a lot of information around us. It’s extremely hard to keep our concentration and our mind flicks from one thing to the next, taking a carefully created video or image to catch our attention and hold it. Maybe by slowing down and stopping for just a second before we click on the next thing, we can be conscious of what we are doing instead of unconsciously scrolling. Not getting caught up in the excitement and making a split second decision that we might later not quite understand. Being aware and thinking about our choices is all we really need.

With nothing new entering my wardrobe it is allowing me to look closer at what I really have. And there are some clothes that I haven’t worn in such a long time. I don’t have a huge amount of clothes, but I suddenly feel the need to reduce what I have even more. I honestly thought that when I couldn’t buy anything new I would start wearing more items in my wardrobe. Exploring what I have and wearing things I haven’t worn in a long time. But that’s not actually the case. I’ve found that I’m wearing the same few items - the practical ones, the comfortable ones and the ones that just make me feel good when I wear them. I think my taste has changed immensely over the last few years and I’ve become really honed in on what I like, what suits me and what I will wear again and again. In a twist I didn’t expect, I am about to declutter my closet again and sell or donate the clothes that I no longer want or need. I knew I would save money by not buying any clothes, but I didn’t expect to make money by selling clothes I already have!

The last few months I have been researching more about the fashion industry and the challenges that are faced by the industry as a whole. Overconsumption is a huge problem and this has a domino effect down the supply chain. Even though we might think it starts with the company and the manufacturing of the items, it really starts with us - the consumer. Without us they wouldn’t have a business. Our choices make a difference and we need to be aware of what choices we are making. Last year I was really selective with what I bought, and focused on buying from sustainable and ethical brands, but even then we can still consume too much.

I have come to realise that true sustainability is reducing our consumption altogether. Being conscious of our choices, even when buying from brands who are leading the way with new and innovative processes. We want to support these incredible businesses, and buying their clothes is how we usually do this. We can support them in other ways though, through talking about them and giving them exposure. Having someone believe in what you are doing and speak wonderful words about you to others is an amazing compliment.

This is why Renewed Collective is here, especially the magazine. By featuring these brands, we are putting them in front of people who might consider them when they are ready to make their next purchase. Then they might tell their friend or receive a compliment next time they’re wearing the item. Genuine word of mouth advertising is the best form of advertising and you can’t beat it.

I am always on the lookout for sustainable and ethical brands so please let me know your favourites below!

Sammy
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