Most people don’t understand the damage the garment industry is doing to the environment and to the people in developing countries who make our clothes. The world now consumes 80 billion pieces of clothing each year, which is up 400% from two decades ago, and the average American throws away more than 65 pounds of clothes each year! Over 60 million people are employed in the global clothing and footwear sector and most of them make less than half of what’s considered a “living wage” in their countries. These are just a few of the staggering – and sobering – statistics I recently read about in an article that was posted on Facebook.
The current fashion industry model is not sustainable and urgent changes are needed, as explained in the 2015 documentary film, “The True Cost.” I recently learned of a sustainable fashion initiative called #30wears that was started by sustainable fashion advocate, Livia Firth (wife of Oscar-winning actor, Colin Firth). This movement strives to counter the wastefulness of “fast fashion” by focusing on buying quality pieces that we will wear at least thirty times before we discard them. Simply asking ourselves, “Will I wear this a minimum of thirty times?” while we’re shopping can help us to make choices that are better for the world at large as well as our closets.
Earlier this year, I started a new feature in which I review my purchases a year later to see how well (or not) they have worked out for me. Most of the time, these purchase updates will encompass two or three months, and today I’m going to look back at the items I bought from August through October of last year. I definitely bought far too many items last August through October, so there will be a lot to cover in this update!
How do you feel about the purchases you made a year ago?
I will share some basic numbers, let you know what I still own, and reflect on which purchases were good and bad and why. I’ll close this update by encapsulating the lessons I learned from reviewing the items I purchased a year ago. I hope that reading this post will inspire you to take a look at your past purchases to see how well they’re serving you – or not. Taking the time to do such a review can be quite eye-opening and is well worth doing.
A little over a month ago, I posted a long overdue update on my wardrobe and shopping goals for 2016. That update covered my budget, item limit, frequency of wear, a basic overview of what I bought, and my goals for the remainder of the year. I had also planned to review my progress with the shopping list I created back in February, but the post just got too long. As I feel that it will be helpful to look at my shopping priorities and how I have or haven’t addressed them, that will be the focus of today’s post.
How have you done with your shopping priorities for 2016?
A Cautionary Tale – Don’t Do What I Did
Before I delve into a discussion of my shopping list and what I’ve bought, I want to say a few things. First of all, I think that if we go through the trouble of creating a shopping priorities list, we really need to be reviewing it on at least a monthly basis. That way, we’ll be much less likely to get off-track with our purchases. Of course, it’s perfectly understandable that we may need to make some revisions to our list, as many things are subject to change in our lives, including our bodies, our lifestyles, and what we are and aren’t wearing. I would never be one to advocate rigid adherence to what one planned many months ago.
Last night, my husband and I attended Courtney Carver’s “Tiny Wardrobe Tour.” It was wonderful to finally meet Courtney (after having known her online for over four years) and to hear her speak and answer questions about fashion challenge Project 333. Those who have been following my journey since the beginning may remember that Courtney challenged me to do Project 333 back in 2013. Despite my fear and trepidation, I accepted her dare, blogged weekly about my experiences (beginning here, but you can read all of my Project 333 posts HERE), and reaped many benefits from taking on dressing with less for three months (I later took on the challenge a second time).
It was wonderful to finally meet Courtney Carver, the creator of Project 333.
I will share some thoughts about and follow-on actions from Courtney’s talk in a future post, but today I want to focus on what I did prior to attending the presentation. Anticipating what she would be talking about – “the hows and whys of starting Project 333 to bring more simplicity, love, and joy into your life,” I got to thinking about my experiences with the challenge back in 2013 and 2014 and how easy or difficult it might be for me to dress with just 33 items today. On a whim, I decided to draft a hypothetical Project 333 list for the summer season that will be drawing to a close soon (where I live, we experience hot weather through at least October). In today’s post, I highlight which items I selected and some insights I gained through doing the exercise.
I recently returned from a twelve day trip to Lake Tahoe and the San Francisco Bay Area. This was a tricky trip to pack for, as the weather forecast was different for both locations, plus it was the “cusp” season between summer and fall anyway. I experienced some challenges in deciding what to pack and dealing with the repercussions of my decisions. In today’s post, I share my insights in the hope that some of you may benefit from my mistakes and difficulties. I highlight what I packed, what worked well, what didn’t work, and what I wore during my trip.
Do you find it stressful and difficult to pack for travel?
It’s been a long time since I’ve done an update on my 2016 wardrobe and shopping goals. I used to do monthly accountability updates (you can see them all here), but after three-plus years of doing them, I simply got tired of the lengthy process of putting them together. However, even though I wasn’t going to keep doing blog posts about the topic, I should have continued to keep track for myself. As I shared in my last post, I neglected to track my purchases for over four months and that definitely impeded both my awareness and my progress. Now I could beat myself up about this – and I certainly have, but that wouldn’t ultimately serve me well. Instead what I need to do is determine where I am with my goals, recommit, and recalibrate if necessary.
It’s time to tell the truth about my 2016 wardrobe goals.
In today’s post, which will be a long one, I will review the following goal categories and my current status:
- Item Limit
- Frequency of Wear
- What I Bought – Clothes, Shoes, Accessories
- Goals for the Remainder of 2016
I recently returned from a five day trip to Fort Worth, Texas (sister city to Dallas). It was my first time to that area other than the DFW airport (which doesn’t count…), so it was an adventure. The reason I went there was to meet up with some of the wonderful ladies from the private Facebook group I started, most of whom I had never met in person but had conversed with many times online. A Fort Worth local took the reins in planning the event and thought of lots of special details that I never would have considered myself. She even organized an early celebration for my 50th birthday, complete with tiara and Hawaiian lei (photo below). Here are a couple of pictures of me embracing the Texas culture with a fringed boot and cowboy hat:
While it’s true that July isn’t necessarily the ideal time to visit Texas, the heat wasn’t as extreme as I’d feared. I mostly stayed indoors during the day and enjoyed the balmy evenings when no jacket was required. All in all, it was a fun-filled trip and I’m so grateful I was able to make it! I don’t get many in-person interactions in my day-to-day life, so it was so nice to be able to look into people’s eyes and share laughter and meaningful conversations face to face. I wish I could show you the photos I took of the lovely women in attendance, but not everyone wants to splash photos of themselves across the Internet, so I’ll respect their privacy. Suffice it to say that they are all beautiful inside and out and I’m pleased to know them.
I hadn’t traveled in almost a year (see my last travel debrief here) and I just don’t do it often enough to get good at packing. I don’t know if I will ever be a packing minimalist, but I’ve found that reflecting back on what did and didn’t work has helped me improve in terms of making the right decisions and not over-packing so much (I have a long history of doing just that!). In today’s post, I look at what I brought to Texas with me, whether or not my packing served me well, and what I wore during my stay.