Are we really already moving into the second month of 2010? I haven’t even had a chance to tell you about my New Year’s Resolution. I sat down at the coffee table at Mike’s house on New Year’s Day, hungover and sipping on strong coffee (which is something I never drink so that in itself is an indication I was hungover). We decided to make our resolutions. We limited ourselves to 5. Among the normal goals of eating better and exercising more I threw a bolder one out there into the mix.
I vow to not buy any brand new clothes in the entire year of 2010.
Okay, so there are a few exceptions to this rule. Like underwear. I’m sorry but I’m just not going to buy used underwear at the Goodwill…ewwww! Pajamas might be another one of those things that can make it on the exception list and any other very specialized or intimate items. But the idea is to be mindful about what I buy, to not consume in a neglectful matter, and to only indulge in fashion that does not create more in this world but is rather something still in the cycle of existence, searching for a new home. There are plenty of great fashions at thrift stores and consignment shops and it is my goal to change the world one consumer at a time.
So how have I fared in the first month? Well I bought two brand new things. One of them falls into the pajama category so I am forgiven. The other, well it was a pair of really cute cargo pants on sale for $6 at Kohl’s and I must go to confession and say 100 Hail Mary’s and whip myself 20 times a day for the rest of the year. Actually, instead of doing something so useless and brutal as this I will just dedicate this year to my cause…the first manifestation of my cause will be a very exciting event that will bring the news of green consumerism to many people in my local community. Details of this event will all be revealed shortly.
Anyway, I do have to tell you though that buying that one pair of pants did make me realize a few things.
One, they were made in Vietnam. Meaning some poor woman or child probably slaved away making thousands of them for pennies a day for them to be marked up at an incredible rate so that corporate America could get rich. And the carbon footprint that it took to fly them from Vietnam to be at my local Kohl’s store in San Luis Obispo was probably not worth it either. I wish I had exact numbers for these statistics which I hope to eventually have once I do further research and read the library’s worth of books I have sitting on my shelf about consumerism.
Two, since I have owned these pants I have worn them multiple times a week so even though I did a shameful thing in supporting this consumer culture I did it mindfully. If I buy all of one brand new item a month, I believe it can be justified if it is something I know I will get good use out of. However, if it was just to sit in my closet gathering dust than I obviously was buying on an impulse and not due to the true appreciation of the fashion. This is a lesson to be learned…this is the idea behind mindful consumerism.
Three, I feel a little better that I bought them for only $6. Not only did I not waste my hard-to-come-by money on a pair of pants when I really have a plentiful number hanging in my closet, but corporate America probably didn’t make a huge profit either. This means my contribution to this psychopathic entity was minimal.
Even though I failed within the first month of the year, the resolution is not a complete failure. I mean how many times do people make a resolution and break it and make the same resolution once, twice, or multiple times over again. The fact that there is determination means there is consciousness of an important change. So I vow to continue being conscious and abiding by my resolution.
I challenge others to make this resolution (even thought it may be mid-year) and take the vow not to buy any brand new clothes for a year.