Wednesday, 14 November 2012

The clothes off my back...

Clothes are a bit of a problem issue for me. I'm not exactly a skinny girl and clothes buying is already a challenging process, so the idea of restricting this further isn't the most welcome thought. On the plus side, I don't buy many clothes, and so it's less of an issue than it could be. Regardless, I want to get to the best place I can be given my size and budget, and so I thought it was about time I addressed it.

I've done a bit of an audit of the clothes I've bought this year. This has resulted in a few interesting results:

1) About half of my clothes are second hand, specifically from charity shops. I feel no need to adjust this shopping, as buying second hand is definitely a good thing in my book.

2) I don't buy many clothes. So far this year (10 1/2 months), in terms of new clothes, I've bought two pairs of jeans, a dress, a top, a couple of pairs of pyjama bottoms and a couple of pairs of leggings. Oh and a onesie. All in all, that's probably not much more than £100 in total (excluding the onesie). 

So how to do it better. Well, they don't make ethical clothes in larger sizes. They tend to stop at a 16/18, and so that's not an option for me at the moment. It's difficult to buy more second hand clothes than I currently do - the problem being that it's hard to find something if you're looking for a specific item. And buying less clothes isn't really the issue - I buy very few clothes, most of which are through need.

So where does that leave me? Well, the main problem I have is that the list of places I can get clothes from (New Look, Matalan, Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's...) is heavily dominated by cheap and not exactly high quality products. So I've been making a deliberate attempt to steer clear (where possible) from those places. Which has led me to... Marks and Spencers!

Yes. I have started shopping at M&S. So far this has extended to a couple of pairs of PJ bottoms and a pair of leggings, but I have to say that I'm impressed. I'm not sure M&S are any more ethical in their clothes production, but the stuff I've bought has certainly lasted a lot better than the previous items I've bought from other shops. My previous PJs lasted about 5 months, but these have been going strong for 9 months without sign of wearing out. They cost a few quid more, but it appears to be money well spent. The leggings are lasting well and haven't even got the weird baggy knee thing that most other pairs get. So hopefully by buying items that last longer and therefore need replacing less often, I can reduce the environmental impact that way.

Other than that, it's probably a case of trawling charity shops where possible and only buying the clothes I actually need....