On Consumption: When it's ok to buy new clothesWednesday, March 16, 2016
This past week it was warm. It was freeing and it was warm. I had almost forgotten what it was like to walk out of the apartment with bare arms and the absence of a warm hat and woolen socks to keep my extremities from releasing the heat of life.
On this day, the winds blew gracefully and carefully with a certain warmness. It was as if to say, welcome back to life, dearest. Here are some flowers, dearest. Enjoy the glow of a warmer sunset and please dance for us, dearest.
And so I was bathing in the glory of a spring sunset one day after work. As I drove into the golden light, I could not resist but to stop on the way home with my trusty friend, the tripod.
As I set up my camera, I could not help but have a pep in my step. I felt like frolicking in the only new dress I bought last year, snatched off a clearance rack after Christmas, calling my name. I so seldom mention buying new clothes anymore, because I don't believe in excessive consumption, something that I have spoken of on this blog before. Nonetheless, this dress felt like it had my name etched into the tag. It cried for me to wear it with a long sleeve black tee when the chills were still ringing in our ears. Now, it calls for me to wear it in the spring as the wind floats the skirt too and fro. With spring roaring through the skies, the refreshing thought of new things is actually quite tempting for me. A reset. A restart.
But I'm not really about that, I tell myself. I am about finding the newness in things already there. After all, are not daffodils the same daffodils each year? Yet they bring a smile to our faces every season regardless of how many daffodils we have seen in a lifetime. Clothes are kind of like daffodils in that sense. It is better to enjoy the same thing as many times as possible before the curtain closes on them and the nail on the coffin is hammered.
Just like with fresh daffodils thrown aside in a ditch, it pains me to see a waste of clothing (or anything, really...) and the pain and suffering that often goes into the clothing we waste. For this reason, I only buy when an item plays a song too beautiful to lift the needle away and shove it aside.
And so if, like me, you loathe the rampant waste of textiles massacring the planet by thrusting themselves into landfills, you may wonder at which point is it appropriate to consume. If, like me, you hate the idea of children being forced into factory work instead of being allowed to go to school, you may wonder when it is ok to consume. If, like me, you hate to see people taken advantage of, which is oh so rampant in the clothing industry, you may wonder when it is ok to buy something new.
To you, I say this: either when you need a new item to replace one now too threadbare to support your frame, or when you are hearing the song of your soul being poured into your ear canals in the form of an item you know will use liberally.
After all, our existence in this world requires some consumption of material goods. It is knowing when to stop and when to go, when to breathe, and when to simply let life run its course that is the real issue. It's about doing your best to better the world and being satisfied with your efforts.
P.S. All other items gracing this post were either older items or purchased second hand. I am a huge believer in second hand items. If you would like more information as to why thrifting is essential to my lifestyle, please read more here.