Consumption, Ethical Choices

Purchasing Prep : Shoes and Denim

I double checked my bank statement, and the last time I bought any clothing (some undergarments) was on January 13th. So, it has been just over four months since I bought any clothing at all!

That’s pretty cool, considering my commitment to ethical consumption. For me, that means consuming much, much less, and when I do consume, I want to focus on ethically produced goods. This, in turn, means a focus on fair trade, organic, and low-waste products.

I’m reaching the point where things in my wardrobe are literally beginning to fall to pieces. My Stan Smiths, purchased in the spring of 2015, have holes in the bottom of each heel. My Zara jeggings that I bought on December 30, 2016, are wearing dangerously thin. My two white summer shirts, also spring 2015 purchases, were so yellowed (ew) that after numerous attempts at whitening them, I have relegated them to rags for cleaning the floors.

I would love, love, LOVE to make it through the year without buying any new clothing. I think this would be a huge challenge for my wardrobe, considering I’d have to make it work with whatever I end up doing this fall.

While I definitely have enough miscellaneous clothing to put together enough outfits, or to live in dresses for most of the summer, I only own the one pair of jeans and the one pair of sneakers. I could challenge myself to simply wear the sneakers through until December (or at least until the weather gets wet, along with my socks!), or to give up jeans and stick to the skirts, tights, and dresses that I already own.

I still may do that, but in the event that I want to wear jeans or sneakers that won’t be soaked in the event of a little rain, here are the products I plan to consume.

As I discussed in a previous post, I plan to try the Lease A Jeans program through MUD Jeans. Unfortunately, the nearest showroom is in Luxembourg, so I will have to ship their jeans to me for a home try on. Happily, they use reusable packaging so that reduces some of the impact of shipping, which I generally try to avoid.

Even if I decide to wait until January, 2018 to buy another pair of sneakers, I will be very happy to purchase a pair from Veja. This French brand (vive la France!!) prioritises transparency, organic materials, and fair trade sourcing. The company doesn’t advertise, which I LOVE, because they invest their resources into the production chain. Furthermore, they don’t order overstock, and they respond to the size of the cotton harvest when figuring out how many shoes to produce.

When it comes to the soles of their shoes, instead of using rubber created with petroleum, they work directly with Amazonian rubber tappers to harvest from rubber trees. AND, if it couldn’t get any better, the actually post the price they paid for rubber on their website.

Basically, I’m in heaven, and really excited about a pair of Veja shoes. Conveniently, they’re sold at a shop next door to my apartment, so I won’t have to ship the shoes to myself. If I’m looking for different pairs, there are 10 or so other stockists in Paris.

I don’t own summer sandals anymore, as mine were destroyed in a very unfortunate mould incident in October, 2015. I may have to prioritise sandals over sneakers, but I have a pair of Trotters from my university years that are still going strong. Well, one of the soles squeaks pretty obnoxiously, but other than that, they’re fine.

I could probably get through the summer in my sneakers and those loafers, but we’ll see. I may go dig around for a silver pair of Old Navy flip flops that live under the bathroom shelf. I bought them ages ago, and brought them to France use in hostel showers, but I think they’ve just been gathering dust.

Would you try to make it through the whole year without any new purchases? Now that I’ve come 1/4 of the way through, I’m feeling energised to keep going!


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