Exercising Conscience

I’m not a great one for shopping. Weekly food shops I can handle; they’re my community catch-up and a reason to put on a relatively tidy outfit. Clothes shopping though? Ick!

Part of this comes down to the whole time-poor aspect of my life. At the end of the day, I would much rather spent my precious moments puttering about the Homestead than struggling into clothes that are an approximation of what I wanted to buy because what I want is either: a) out of fashion b) not in my size or c) hasn’t existed since the turn of the millennium.

“No one wears that anymore”; sad but true.

The other part of it is my hatred of fast fashion (I think that’s what it’s called anyway; you know, the shirt you launder once and it never really sits properly again despite careful ironing or the ‘jeans’ which look wonderful when you try them on but their careless cutting and haphazard construction has the legs corkscrewing on their first proper outing) and what it is doing to our planet. I used to get around this by buying second hand. That way, I was saving stuff from landfill and knew how it was going to wear because it had already been through the washing machine a few times. Sadly, most of my favourite shopping haunts have now been infiltrated by the dreaded fast fashion to the exclusion of everything else and, having added the word ‘Vintage’ and/or “Boutique” to their title, don’t offer even the draw of economy.

However, it does get to a point where you simply have to replenish the wardrobe; apparently our lack of earnings takes me out of the Eccentric Bohemian category and edging into the realm of Odd and Possibly Smelly.

Children can be brutal.

Maybe they have a point

The actual wardrobe pick-me-up was a relatively painless experience as I was really only after staples: jeans, shirts, and something to keep me warm, with the plan of attack taking way longer than the actual apparel procurement. We all know I have a tendency to overthink but I needed to nut the whole process out. The way I see it, buying secondhand did cut out a large chunk of responsibility as someone else had already made the purchasing decision and shelled out the dollars effectively sending the message with their wallet this is what we think is okay in order for us to cover-up. Now I was fronting up and paying I needed to be comfortable with who was getting my this is okay denotation.

Proof we scrub up okay

My ideal for any purchase I make is to opt for New Zealand made of New Zealand sourced materials as far as that is possible. I like the thought that my cardigan was made here by folk paid in accordance with our labour laws from wool grown on the back of kiwi sheep. That was the high point. The two shirts were NZ designed and made using imported cotton. I’m comfortable with that. The jeans…gulp! It’s now my responsibility to look after them so I don’t resend a this is okay with me message too quickly when it’s really not. I chose hard wearing, well made, quality material garments; it’s just the possible conditions of the people that put them together worked under that I’m uncomfortable with.

Oh, that I were a home sewer. In my dreams…

and now my ‘popping down to the supermarket’ shoes need replacing. Sigh.

Did I say I loathed clothes shopping?

*This was written yesterday but I delayed posting it as I had no illustrations handy and I put it in the “I’ll sort this tomorrow” basket. We woke this morning to the news that Queen Elizabeth II had died and I wondered whether an opinion piece on my wardrobe was…you know…appropriate in such sombre times. Then I thought, “You know, sometimes you just don’t need to think so much!”

11 thoughts on “Exercising Conscience

  1. Hi, I am also a member of the loathing clothes shopping club especially if it entails going to a shopping mall. I am fortunate some of my clothes are made locally in Newstead and I can support local businesses here in Castlemaine. If I go online, I try to buy from Australian manufacturers.

    • Eek…Malls…I find I go slightly doolally in them. I think its the lighting, the super shiny floors and constantly being jostled.
      The best way to keep your community strong is to shop locally…it just makes sense, I reckon

  2. Totally relate to this dilemma. Using a walker and finding shoe removal a pain, I hate truongbon in the shop now. Over the pandemic I found online shopping and haven’t looked back. If I wait for sales I can get good quality fairly reasonably and not get exhausted in the process. I have always belonged to the use it up wear it out club….today’s shirt is 5 years old and going strong.

    • Id opt to online shop over mall shopping everytime! I can only imagine how much more difficult it is with a walker. Its the jostling that wears me out. The kids tease me as Ive never been great at “just pick your line and stick to it” and as a result I take twice the amount of time to get anywhere. Apparently I need to learn to drop my shoulder and stop apologising😁 Dont you hate it when those faithful clothes do finally give way, though? Its like losing a friend.

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