How many times do you wear a shirt before throwing it in the wash? How often do you do the wash? Do you even know where your clothes come from? This is something that I am slowly learning. For the past two weeks, I’ve been taking a two week challenge for my Business and the Environment class where we got to choose six articles of clothing that we could cycle through for two weeks. The boundaries were that underwear, socks, work-out clothes, and interview/work clothes do not count as these six items; neither do shoes, gloves, hats, and jackets. Seems easy enough right? No matter what your answer may be to that question, I highly suggest you try it.
What I learned was that although I do not consider myself the typical consumer, especially when it comes to clothes, I realized that I still had a long way to go. For one, I became very creative with picking clothes that I knew could be worn with different combinations and in different ways so that if one started to smell I could easily switch up what I was wearing. I made it a whole week wearing a shirt no more than two times, and the second time would always be under a sweater or sweatshirt so that you could not even have any risk of smelling anything that might be there. Yes, that sounds funny, but realistically, we do not perspire that much during the winter. Thus, I would like to think that I smelled minty fresh all the time. After the first week I ended up washing my clothes. The hardest part of this experiment was getting over feeling that people are judgmental if they see you wearing the same clothes a lot. In truth, people are so caught up in their own lives and looks that they do not notice a thing about what others are wearing. Moreover, by picking your clothes wisely, you can put together different combinations to create over eight different looks.
Ultimately, the point is to take a step back and ask yourself if you really need all that you have. We live in a highly consumerist society and it is very easy to get lost in the vicious cycle of buying more and more things and pointlessly wasting what is still perfectly good. I know that I will be choosing my clothes more wisely now!
Where do you fall as a consumer?
Thanks for listening!