Buy less and buy clothes better

Buy less and buy clothes better

Tamsin Blanchard explains why these days she has all the clothes she needs, meaning now shopping is about self-expression.

Have you reached peak clothes? I know I have.
I’ve been at clothing saturation point for some time in fact. I can’t close my wardrobe doors and I have a permanent mountain of clothes in a basket on my bedroom floor because I just don’t have anywhere else to put them.

I did try Marie Kondo. I followed the Japanese guru’s modern wisdoms for organising (her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up says it all)?and yet my drawers are still so full I don’t know what’s in them any more.

Parting is such sweet sorrow

I am not alone. The average UK household owns around £4,000 worth of clothes and around 30% of clothing in wardrobes has not been worn for at least a year. According to figures from Wrap, champions of sustainable living, if we all put the money we spent into a massive piggy bank we would have £30 billion to spend on something worthwhile.
But we can’t seem to stop ourselves buying stuff. So for a while now, I’ve been really trying to think before I buy. I ask myself, “Do I really need this?” (The answer is generally no). And, “Don’t I already have five of these already?” (The answer is generally yes).

Quality not quantity

Don’t get me wrong, I understand the thrill of retail therapy. But now when I do buy something, I like to it be:

Quality that isn’t going to fall apart or look like a limp rag after two washes.
Something that is fairly seasonless, timeless and won’t look like yesterday’s news today.
The best fabric I can afford, and something that will make a difference to my wardrobe and give me a bit of a thrill when I wear it.

This is not necessarily an exercise in buying stuff that is safe and boring: just making sure you buy less, which means you can afford to buy better.

New rules for shopping

I have to admit I tend to shop more for clothes for the children than myself, but there are a few habits I’ve developed in order to reduce the strain on those over-filled drawers.

When I do set out to buy something new for me, I take a look at the contents of my wardrobe before I go. There’s always a pair of trousers I had forgotten about, or a dress that’s lurking at the back of the wardrobe.
We tend to just wear the top of the pile and it’s always worth delving back a little in our drawers and wardrobes –? it’s often as rewarding as going shopping.
There is also a rule that if you haven’t worn something for a year, you should get rid of it – send it to charity, give it to a friend or organise a swishing party where you bring your old clothes to swap and have a bit of a social too.

If you have five Breton tops, why not get rid of two of them? If only to free up space for the next one you buy!

A good time to change

World Recycling Week begins April 18. It’s an initiative started by H&M and they are keen that you bring your old clothes into the store when you shop and they will recycle them for you. You’ll see lots going on to mark World Recycling Week in H&M stores, from April 11. I have it on good authority that even your most washed out old bra will be happily received!


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