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Poll: Do you think you could stop buying new clothes for a year?

If you don’t want to go vegan, this could be how you do your bit for the environment.

shutterstock_1045368406 Source: Shutterstock/Cabeca de Marmore

IT’S CLEAR THAT a lot of us entered 2019 terrified by the fact that each day, we’re getting closer and closer to the point of no return with regards to this whole climate change thing. 

Veganuary seemed to make more headlines than dry January this year, with plenty of people taking part in the hopes of cutting down their consumption of meat and dairy to extend our time on this planet before it’s engulfed by forest fires which will eventually be extinguished by rising sea levels. 

We all read what was expected of us if we wish to avoid this: a diet consisting of minimal red meat, fewer portions of fish and chicken (or, ideally, none of that), and loads more vegetables. But what if you want to go further than changing your diet? Or don’t want to change your diet at all? What could you do instead? 

Well, you could start by reducing the amount of clothes you buy. People have been making a point of doing this and discussing it for years. Back in 2018, TheJournal.ie published a story about a Galway woman named Lisa Regan who gave up buying clothes for a year, and at the end of it she loved it so much that she decided she didn’t want to return to her old shopping habits the following year. 

It was like starting a diet. You have that initial high, ‘I can take over the world’ feeling, this fades fast and you realise that popping into the shops for a look was no longer on your agenda. I had the cravings for that ‘new clothes rush’ you get when you get a new dress, but I just denied it and looked into my own wardrobe to excite myself by reinventing looks and also wearing things I hadn’t bothered with in the past. 

Of course, obtaining new clothes isn’t completely off limits when you commit to something like this. There’s always charity shops, where you can get second hand items, and initiatives like ‘Swapsies’, which was set up by an Irish woman called Clodagh Kelly. According to the infographs at Clodagh’s Swapies session that we visited last year, “buying or swapping a preloved item extends a garments life on average by two years.”

shutterstock_1200778891 Source: Shutterstock/Amornie

There are plenty of other clothes swapping meet ups across the country, so it’s worth looking into in your own area. On the 3rd of March, there’s a clothes swap taking place in Workman’s in Dublin in aid of MASI (Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland), and all it costs is a suggested donation of €5, or whatever you can afford. It’s also an inclusive space with plus-sized clothing that makes a point of welcoming trans people too! These kind of events take place all the time, so they’re worth keeping an eye out for.

When put that way, it really doesn’t sound that difficult after all… So, do you think you could do it? 


Poll Results:

Yeah, I barely ever buy clothes anyway. (660)
I could go a few months, but not a full year. (609)
Not a chance. (423)
Yeah, it be really tough but I'd make do. (355)
I don't know. (29)





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Kelly Earley

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