Sunday, 14 February 2010

I'm Taking Dame Viv's Advice

Last week one of my favourite British designers Dame Vivienne Westwood appeared on BBC London News and told shoppers to stop buying clothes for 6 months. At first, to many who love their fashion and clothes, this might seem like complete madness but the comments made in support of a campaign to protect the environment and reduce landfill, which is being led by London Mayor Boris Johnson, highlight a dilemma that I am currently facing as a fashion blogger regarding the sustainability of my shopping habits. Dame Vivienne urges us to avoid buying clothes unless we absolutely have to, in which case we should look to invest in quality pieces that will last.

I have already stopped buying clothes since January in an attempt to help the environment with my no more wants challenge, where I have been creating outfits around SS10 trends using clothes that I already own. I have decided to extend this for at least a few more months. Although I am not sure whether I will last 6 months, when I do start buying clothes again, I will do so with more though and buying more eco fashion, second hand clothes and quality pieces that will last.

There has been much debate over the sense in Vivienne Westwoods comments and claims of hypocrisy and that we should continue to shop to help the countries economy. But I believe strongly that we should all try and live more sustainably (and there is no time like the present). I am still going to be spending my money, just not on clothes at the moment.

I think it is a great way to help promote sustainable fashion and clothing. I am even starting to notice a few benefits to not buying clothes.

  • I have got more money, I am using this to join the gym and save up for some really nice pieces of quality clothing when I need them.
  • I have discovered and started wearing some great clothes in my wardrobe that I had forgotton all about.
    Not buying new clothes has forced me to think more carefully about what I wear, I think this is making me more creative with my outfits.
  • The clothes in my wardrobe have been tried and tested and are the clothes that I love wearing. I have made many buying mistakes in the past, but the clothes I have left are hopefully the ones that look best and really suit me.
  • If I get bored with my clothes I can always indulge in a bit of clothes swapping or refashioning my clothes.

So what do you think? Am I completely mad? Does the economy depend on our shopping? Could you give up buying new clothes for 6 months?

picture from


Cherry Pullinger said...

A fashion designer telling people not to buy clothes? Thats a little strange but also I see her point.

Fabulous Finds Gal said...

I get the concept, but if you buy second hand or vintage that helps the eco problem. The clothes are being worn and not thrown away. Since I am a vintage clothing dealer, if I don't get any sales for 6 months that will put me out of business. So, I hope that people just change their spending habits to become green and eco friendly and include vintage in their new choices.

Thanks for a great discussion and post,

Nina said...

Its a great idea, I personally prefer thrifting and vintage shopping anyway...
thanks for stopping by & your comment :)

Zenobie said...

Good for you! This is really an excellent idea. We are all so disposable fashion addicted these days so perhaps we do need to go cold turkey for a while. That said I could never impose a complete shopping ban on myself! Perhaps those who are not ready could buy less but better quality. That is what I have been doing lately. It actually works out around the same price overall and I am not having to get rid of bags of stuff every year.

PinkBow said...

it makes a lot of sense for sure. a great insightful post. i love the pic of viv too, her hair is crazy, i look a little like that first thing on a morning :)

Looking Fab in your forties said...

Thanks for the comment left on my blog - glad I have found you and I shall add myself as a follower.

Style of a Fashionista said...

I wish I had your will power I do not think I could not shop for six months but I do tend to buy used & vintage clothes on ebay and sell too I see this as a good way to recycle.

Another great post xoxo

Glendy said...

You know I think I was taking Viv's advice these past months lol, I haven't bought anything new in about 5 mos I don't see the reason why, my clothes are still good I have enough to mix and match, Im really proud she's promoting environmentally friendly approaches the fashion industry :)

Much love,

Melanie McIntyre said...

I really admire your "no shopping" decision. Like Style of a Fashionista, I wish I had your willpower!

Shopgirl said...

I did actually manage six months (just!) last year. Was tough mind!! Clearly I was ahead of the times!!! Good luck!

Robyn said...

You've inspired me to take this challenge too! I linked to your post on my blog's weekly roundup, and I've decided to give up shopping for Lent. Not quite 6 months, but it will still be hard considering that the seasons are just starting to change. I'll check on your progress whenever I'm starting to feel the temptation! When I do start shopping again, I want to make a commitment to buy more vintage. It's definitely eco-friendly and it's usually more unique to boot. I've avoided this in the past because I have chronic fatigue syndrome and I don't really have the stamina to put in the kind of time you need to find a good vintage piece. There are so many good vintage shops online though that I don't really have an excuse anymore.