Since we posted our original article talking about the 30 wears challenge last year we have been ecstatic with the positive response it received. It was lovely to see people really engaging with the positive idea of loving our clothes.
Many of our friends and colleges said in passing comments, “I have definitely worn this more than 30 times” it made me so happy. This is what Into The Eco is all about, talking about everyday issues and making it feel approachable and engaging. What is more engaging than our content, creating conversations in the real world? I want to thank everyone for taking the time to read.
In the spirit of inspiring the 30 wears movement further, we are keeping the conversation flowing. Do you ever feel that some fashion bloggers and retailers make us think that buying new clothes is necessary to feel at our best? They might even make us feel we need to look a certain way to feel good about ourselves? If you have ever felt that way we are here to offer a fresh perspective.
Getting more wears out of the clothes we already own is one of the most sustainable things we can do today. A vital part of this process is getting to know ourselves better. Knowing ourselves helps when looking to buy clothes we really love. More importantly, shopping in a more informed frame of mind also helps us feel better about ourselves, not just from the outside in, but from the inside out too.
In a world filled with choices, we have never found it so hard to actually make a decision. Studies have shown that the more choices we are given can lead to higher stress levels and uncertainty. The fashion industry spends millions of pounds a year on advertisements that tell us we will be happier, more stylish, and more fulfilled if we buy a new outfit. It thrives on our deepest desires to fit in and look and feel our best at all times. No matter how much I used to buy the idea of that goal always felt out of reach.
Taking control of our purchasing power is one of the most liberating things we can do for ourselves. Once we decide that we will only buy new pieces that fill us with joy enough to wear them again and again, we are doing more than being a sustainable badass, we are learning to respect ourselves in the process.
The slow fashion message is spreading. It can feel unnatural to go slower in a world all about speed but I think there is value in deciding to slow down, in many areas of our busy lives. Slowing down our reactive relationship with buying new clothes is not about falling behind, or being overly frugal, rather learning more about ourselves and not feeling pressurised by expensive marketing to be anybody but our wonderful selves.
Taking a step back from the fast fashion treadmill allows us to question what we really want from our clothes. It helps us to start channelling those desires in a healthier fashion, so to speak. Through buying for love over lust and quality over quantity we can start to be the person we truly want to be, giving meaning back to our clothes.
Why do we say that? Well, when you take a second to think about it we live in a society designed to make us constantly want to buy new things, instead of appreciating what we have already. It can be really hard to resist the allure of the new, but I like to question whether this nature of buying is actually making us happier and more fulfilled?
We want every single person to feel confident about themselves on a daily basis. This is something I have always tried to encourage my friends to feel. We are always most critical of ourselves, and I think that fast fashion plays on that part of us, that is always telling us we are not good enough.
We are told what is on trend and what is out of fashion, but the trends are changing so quickly. It has become more important than ever to know our own personal style. Helping us to create a strong sense of self and buy items that we deem to be valuable in style and quality. Saving our money for those pieces that make us want to dance around in front of the mirror. Please tell me I am not the only person that does that?
In the long run following this mantra of buying for love will help us all see that there is joy in owning less but more valued pieces. A cleaner closet will help every day of our lives. It sure has helped me. No more laying on my bedroom floor screaming, “I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR,” surrounded by multiple discarded options. Sound familiar?
I no longer get the urge to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe once a month just because I am having a low confidence day or I am struggling to decide what goes together. I say to myself, wear your failsafe outfit you know you look and feel good in today, and normally by the next day my self-doubt has passed by. I feel better for not listening to the voices in my head saying I need to reinvent myself Madonna style, pronto.
Choosing better quality clothes, looking after them, wearing them 30 times or more, and extending the average life of our clothes is one of the best things we can do to make a positive impact not just for the planet, but for ourselves. Deciding to cut out overly impulsive buying sends the message, you are good enough as you are. You do not need a new outfit to feel confident. It sounds small but it really does work. It is like a switch just flips in your mind. I felt stronger and happier than before.
I still love clothes and creating outfits and feeling my best self, but honestly, I love my sanity even more. Now I don’t feel bad for spending more on myself when I find something that I know is my style and I will want to wear. I don’t feel pressure to shop in the obvious places. I love looking for gems in second-hand stores and I feel more adventurous with my style. We are always our own harshest critics but I don’t judge myself as harshly anymore, I feel surer of myself. It is a revelation. I want you to feel it too.
Replacing the voices in our heads telling us, we look awful and must buy new clothes immediately, with a much healthier voice, telling us we look great because we are wearing things that we really love and represent our unique style. Is a much better way to start the day, do you think?
Does this sound good? Start the 30 wears challenge today and look at your clothes differently, challenge yourself to wear pieces you already own more before buying a replacement. Look at things you have already worn 30 times or more and ask why you like them so much. Analyse what works for you and what doesn’t. Think logically about what your wardrobe is lacking and shop with purpose. Buy clothes that fit you like a glove, nothing is worse for your self-esteem than badly fitting garments. Don’t be afraid to mix and match and try new outfit combinations, spend time experimenting. Update old pieces with cool accessories. Ask your friends for help if you feel lost, see it as a fun project, investing time into yourself and a more positive future.
I am not supporting a boycott on buying, mindful purchasing is not about quitting shopping altogether, it is about valuing each piece we buy as much as possible and buying something because it will add value to our lives. Instead of buying multiple impulsive pieces that are most probably destined for the charity shop or recycling bin within the year. Wasting our money and an opportunity to elevate our own unique personal style.
I hope this article gives everyone the confidence to improve our routines and say goodbye to old habits that don’t help build our self-assurance. Tell us in the comments below about some of your own most loved pieces that make you feel like strutting down the street to your fav song with your head held high. If you want any moral support in any way do not hesitate to get in touch. We reply to every email and comment.
Coming very soon we are collaborating with other bloggers in a ‘Worn It 30 Times’ series. We can’t wait to see the pieces they have worn multiple times and why. Subscribe if you would like to get our article updates sent to you by email in the future.
Love, Lottie xx
Photos: Josh John