If my 12 month No New Clothes journey has inspired you, I am pleased to tell you that you can join me on a 3 month No New Clothes Challenge from June 1st to September 1st. This is the perfect opportunity to integrate everything we have learned together on this journey and start to reclaim our style while aligning our consumer choices with our values.
It’s not that fashion is evil, but we need to remodel the industry so that it no longer produces waste, clogs landfills, and poisons waterways. This is all doable with a circular fashion economy.
Maybe you are intrigued by this idea but think 12 months is a difficult goal now that the pandemic is over and people are going out again? I have to say that my challenge was a lot easier this last year because none of us were going out much. But as I’ve stated in previous columns, boycotting new clothes does not mean sacrificing style or novelty. There’s so many other ways we can dress to feel cute that don’t involve supporting the current fashion industry.
Personally, I love secondhand shopping on Poshmark and The Real Real. There’s also Thred-Up and rental sites like Open Closit. Or what about a clothing swap with your friends? Sharing and wearing clothes that are already in existence is a truly circular fashion economy — and that is the goal. It’s not that fashion is evil, but we need to remodel the industry so that it no longer produces waste, clogs landfills, and poisons waterways. This is all doable with a circular fashion economy.
Another benefit to taking the 3 month pledge is that you will get to participate in a Zoom cocktail where I will be breaking down these concepts and personally sharing tips on this new lifestyle while having an actual dialogue about how to fix this broken industry. RSVP, grab a cocktail, make the pledge, and join me on Wednesday, June 16th @ 8pm ET as we discuss how to make fashion a force for good.
Just in case you are still wavering on the decision to join me in the pledge, here are a few FAQ’s from Remake Our World.
By not financially supporting brands, aren’t you hurting the #PayUp movement?
Not at all. The brands still refusing to pay their garment makers’ wages have million-dollar (if not billion-dollar) net worths. They are not reliant on summer sales to complete past business and pay garment makers wages that are already owed to them. Additionally, by refusing to purchase clothing from them, you are making a powerful statement about the unethical treatment of their makers and calling attention to the systemic change that is needed in the fashion industry.
What about small, sustainable brands? Don’t these brands need our support during Covid-19?
Yes! Some ways that you can support small, sustainable brands during your #NoNewClothes pledge is by purchasing gift certificates or non-clothing items products from their stores, like household decor. You can also purchase clothing from sustainable brands as gifts for friends. The #NoNewClothes pledge does not equate to “no shopping.” Rather, the hope is that by refraining from purchasing new clothes over the next three months, you’ll become more aware of your consumption and waste habits and learn how to better challenge them.
How can I get my fashion fix while participating in the #nonewclothes challenge?
Just because you’re committed to buying no new clothes doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy fashion. There are a plethora of alternatives when it comes to getting your fashion fix during #nonewclothes.
NYC-based Wardrobe and LA-based OpenClosit offer a great alternative to buying new through their clothing rental services. If you still want to own rather than rent, check out Swap Society and ThredUp, two amazing online second-hand retail shops.
Don’t garment makers rely on our purchases to make a living? Doesn’t buying less negatively impact garment makers around the globe?
We get asked this question a lot, which is why we penned an entire op-ed on the matter!
Fast fashion exploits and engulfs generations of women into a cycle of poverty. On every Remake journey to production hubs, the women we meet tell us that they are sacrificing their own wellbeing to keep their children in school and secure a better life for their families. Yet, she is making barely enough to pay rent and put food on the table. I remember a story of one woman that haunts me to this day. Her garment job paid her so little, that when she had a tooth ache, she had to take out a predatory loan and take up sex work on the side to pay the loan backs. Should our dollars be supporting these types of jobs?
Garment jobs are neither good nor safe. So the argument that at least fast fashion creates jobs is not good enough. Deaths and injuries are common place in our industry — from the infamous Rana Plaza factory collapse to the lesser known but constant truck accidents which injure, kill, and hurt garment makers on their way to work.
“In a best case scenario, robots take on board the most repetitive, mundane, and non-cognitive tasks of apparel manufacturing,” Jae-Hee Chang, the author of the ILO report, says in the Guardian. “Robots would also assume more of the dangerous and dirty tasks, like mixing of chemicals, which can be hazardous to human workers. Ultimately, human workers would be able to perform more satisfying and rewarding, as well as higher-paid, jobs in the sector like programming robots for better production and design.”