Now most environmental stuff comes to me pretty easily; recycling, composting, make-do-and-mending, walking, not leaving the TV on standby… No Problem. But I have one environment weakness, and that is clothes. While I can happily keep household appliances until they are beyond repair, my wardrobe continues to bulge with new purchases while other dresses languish practically unworn.
So how do I salve my green conscience? Well firstly there are things that I will not even countenance buying second hand. Underwear and swimwear must always be new. I am pretty fussy about shoes too; however I will buy them second hand if they appear unworn.
Next I must admit that I am a charity shop junkie when it comes to clothes and much of my wardrobe is preloved! Of course when storage becomes an issue anything in good condition can be donated back.
On the odd occasion that I have any clothes worth selling, I take them to a local dress agency, advertise them in my local newspaper or sell them on eBay.
Next I always repair where possible. Yes, there are people who throw clothes out when a button comes off, but not only can buttons be resewn but hems can be taken back up if they fall, too. Furthermore any trousers that tear at the knee are taken up into shorts – mostly the children’s clothes admittedly, as little boys are rougher on their clothes that adults. My sons have a lot of shorts……
Clothing for special occasions is always the most expensive and gets worn the least, so if I can’t find anything suitable second hand, hiring is the best option for these situations. Evening wear to hire can be found by looking in your yellow pages as this is something isn’t that big on the internet yet, apart from the area of maternity occasion wear which can be hired online at the wonderfully named Does My Tum Look Big In This? Costumes for parties can however be hired more easily online for example at Angels Fancy Dress.
I must confess that I have never been skiing in my life, however if I was I would seriously consider hiring the gear for that too.
OK, so I must admit that I still give in to the temptation to buy new clothes, but then no-one’s perfect are they?
About The Author: Jacqui O’Brien is the editor of Reduce Reuse Recycle