What I gave up in 2020

A lot of people gave stuff up in 2020, but completely unrelated to the pandemic, way back in January last year, I decided that I had to stop buying clothing.

I vividly remember the moment, sitting on a deck chair, on a cruise ship admiring my new gold slip on shoes … and thinking, “do I really need a new pair of shoes?”

Anyone that knows me IRL, knows that I’m not, and have never been a fashion junkie. Sure, I critique other peoples choices in clothing, and “OMG, do they not own a mirror”? But when it comes to clothing for myself, comfortable, functional and ideally quirky tends to be how I roll.

I have never subscribed to buying seasonally or having the latest “must have” fashion item.

My favourite shopping destination tends to be the nearest Op Shop (Thrift store) and if they have a 50 cent or dollar rack, even better.

But in January 2020, I decided I had enough clothing. Very likely enough to last for the rest of my life – and thats assuming I live to be 100 – on this I am not kidding.

The fashion industry has a massive environmental impact, many do not treat the workers who make the clothing well, or pay them good wages. Even though a lot of what I own has not been purchased new, and therefore doesn’t have the same core impact issue, it still is more than 1 person needs.

So I’m out. And wherever humanly possible, will have no more to do with this.

Now obviously, there have to be exceptions to every rule, so I have one exception only – I can only purchase clothing if I need it. Wanting those lovely new shoes or buying the 50 cent t-shirt on the sale rack is not a good enough reason.

So in 2020 how did I go?

In June 2020 I fell off the wagon, and had my first, and as it turned out, only lapse. A pair of socks… Well given the name of my blog, it was gonna be the most likely.

And to be fair, how could I resist these?

But its not as if I need socks. I totally didn’t need socks. I have enough socks to setup my own sock shop.

But I am proud to say that this was the only item of clothing I purchased all year that didn’t meet the need category.

Otherwise the only other purchases for the year were 2 new pairs of running shoes (needed since the last ones were getting pretty worn) and I run at least 3 times a week.

Never fear, the old running shoes haven’t been thrown away, they have been repurposed as my dog walking / chores and casual work shoes.

I also bought some lovely, new (to me) running shorts from an Op Shop.

I thought about donating some of my clothing back to an Op Shop. I did donate a small handful of items, but most of what I own I do wear, and like enough to not want to get rid of. Also, why give away items, only to have to go and pay for them again when I already have perfectly good ones I like now?

I still regularly wear a couple of pairs of jeans I bought back in 2002 and they still have years of wear left in them yet. So my mission now is to actually attempt to wear some of this clothing out. Which as it turns out is harder than you’d expect.


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