How 90 days without buying clothes changed my perspective

On December 13th, I wrote about minimalizing my closet and starting a 90-day freeze on buying clothes. This has been an eye-opening experience that I would like to share with you.

I actually started the buying freeze on November 5th, so it has now been well over three months and I still have not bought any new clothes.

Initial Reaction

Early in the freeze, I noticed some benefits that I mentioned before; namely, that advertisements had less of an effect on me and that it was easier to get ready in the morning. I also noticed that I wasn’t really missing any of the clothes that I had donated. The only wardrobe staple that I seemed to be missing was a white tank top. I had thrown mine out while minimalizing my closet since it had become too sheer. I decided I would buy one when I finished the freeze, and was planning on buying one from a fast-fashion store at a low cost like the one I had thrown out.

However, as the weeks went by, I found myself reconsidering this choice. Minimalism allows me to embrace quality over quantity and to carefully consider the items I bring into my home. What if, instead of a cheap shirt that would only last a few months, I found a high-quality option instead? What benefits and drawbacks could this bring?

Benefits

  • Item is higher quality and more durable, therefore it will last much longer
  • Buying one, more expensive item instead of many, inexpensive ones is usually more cost-effective in the long-term
  • Less clothes ending up in a landfill
  • Companies that design high-quality clothes often have more sustainable practices for creating fabric, dyeing fabric, and constructing clothes
  • Supporting a conscientious retailer allows them to expand their product types in the future

Drawbacks

  • More upfront cost
  • Difficult to find retailers that embrace quality and conscientious manufacturing processes
  • Sometimes, these retailers have a limited selection of styles or colours

After some reflection on these potential benefits and drawbacks, I decided to go with purchasing a white top from Encircled. As an added bonus, Encircled is a Canadian company started by a Torontonian, their products are sewn in Toronto by fairly-paid workers, and the fabric that my shirt will be sewn with is even bio-degradable. I can’t wait to add a Wanderer Sleeveless T to my carefully curated wardrobe!

While I will probably be unable to purchase every clothing item I need from a conscientious retailer, getting rid of so many of my low-quality clothes and completing a buying freeze has opened my mind to making intentional choices about the clothes I buy, what they are made of, how they are made, and how long they will last.  

Overall, I would say this was a successful experiment!

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