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The Clothing Season: 10 Rules of Clothes Shopping

September 27, 2011

OK, this next contribution is almost pure provocation. But I think that anyone with a £10 annual clothes budget has earned the right to hold forth on these things:

The Ten Rules of Clothes Shopping

1.      Don’t.

2.      Don’t.

3.      You have a wardrobe full of clothes. Wear them.

4.      Don’t.

5.      Look at the label in your clothes. It should have a number on it. If it says “age” before the number, then you can buy a whole new set of clothes every two years. If it doesn’t, then you can’t. If you still outgrow your clothes, then why not lose some weight? Then you won’t need new clothes.

6.      Don’t.

7.      “Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.” – Henry Thoreau.

8.      If you really have to buy new clothes, try the charity shops first. It’s no good feeling virtuous just by sending things there; somebody has to buy them.

9.      Try borrowing, or clothes-swap parties.

10.  If you have to buy new:

Cotton should be organic (cotton is the crop which takes the largest amount of fertiliser and pesticides in the world) and Fair Trade (if you pay £4 for a pair of denims, how much do you think the person who sewed them got?)

Polyester is often recycled from plastic bottles (PET). If you use and recycle plastic bottles, buy them back!

And don’t forget, the only fabrics which should go into landfill are the rags you used to clean up when you dismantled the car engine. Most charity shops take rags for recycling.

I try to keep my clothes budget to under £10 a year. I have to buy new swimsuits. Last year my daughter got married, so a whole new outfit.


4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 30, 2011 9:48 am

    Some good rules! My wife organised a clothes swapping party a few weeks ago and it went really well. I think most people traded something and the leftovers went to a charity shop. Helped to get to know a couple of neighbours too, and one woman managaed to bag a load of maternity clothes that she was about to be in need of.

  2. September 30, 2011 3:32 pm

    Once we start with this sort of dogmatic approach, we all lose.

    Rules 1, 2, 4, and 6. are a great idea (and I loathe clothes shopping so I’m happy to avoid it as long as possible) when you can work in a nice clean office all day. A month or two in a microholding and you’ll blow the budget, no problem.

    ‘Buy from charity shops’ is okay if you live in a country with a lot of charity shops (Germany doesn’t for some reason) and if you are of average size. I, a friend has kindly said, am built like a hobbit, and those second hand shops that do exist seem to get donations from people size ‘M’ (big) to XXL (Jolly green giant) and upwards. Mind you, shopping in a high street store is pretty demoralising as well, so I adhere to 1, 2, 4,and 6 fairly closely the rest of the time.

    If I had the money I’d buy organic every time. But I doin’t have the money. Of course, if I had the money there would be the question of where it came from as our economy works on injustice anyway, which is why we’re trying to start microholding to reduce our dependency on the global economy, which is hard on clothes…

    If we’re going to have a ‘This works for me so it should work for you too’ apprach, we could all decide that ‘my’ way is for everyone. For example: I travel only a couple of hundred kilometres a year by car. I could decide I’d ‘earned the right’ to write a very similar set of rules about driving, but this will hardly help a single mum I know struggling to keep a family when her boss expects her to use a car to get to work.

    How about an alternative: Accept that the command to love our neighbour applies to all of us, that we should all care for creation, strive for justice and freedom for people, and then pray to see what our role is; accept that my role, my response, will look different from yours, and encourage each other, love each other, pray for each other.

    • Mark permalink*
      September 30, 2011 3:59 pm

      Thanks Andy. I wonder if we could encourage more of what both of you are after. I agree that the key in this whole area is loving one another enough to set each other free to do what God calls us to do. Having said that, I fear that without the encouragements – and the challenges of others – I for one am too prone to duck the issues. I think there’s a place for prophetic examples and provocative lists, so long as we keep them in the perspective you’ve given. In that spirit – keep going with the microholding, I look forward to hearing more in due course…

  3. Tonksthecat permalink
    October 3, 2011 12:53 pm

    ha ha love this!

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