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jayeless
jayeless
Thoughts on Clothing Longevity jayeless.net
Miraz
Miraz

@jayeless Wow, 7 times! I just felt guilty the other day sending a few items to the OpShop even though they were still fine, had been worn numerous times over several years but I just didn't want them any more.

jayeless
jayeless

@Miraz I know, I was gobsmacked by that too! It was like realising that some people live in a different world from me.

artkavanagh
artkavanagh

@jayeless @Miraz I rarely wear any item more than 7 times a week.

KimberlyHirsh
KimberlyHirsh

@jayeless I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on this. This is something I've been thinking about, too. I purchase a lot of staples that are intended to be fast fashion but also wear them until either they don't fit because my shape is changed or they're too worn to wear anymore. On a personal level, I try to acquire my less basic items secondhand when possible and do have a long-term goal of sewing my own clothing. I agree with you about misplaced blame. I wonder if people talk about the market because it feels like that's where ordinary consumers have the most power to effect change. I think making mending a thing would help, but I agree that it's an industry problem as well as a culture problem. The market for secondhand clothes is growing and I believe is attractive to young people in particular. As for industry, I've seen people draw a distinction between fashion and style: fashion is the whim of the moment, while style has more longevity. Maybe a pivot from a fashion industry to a style industry is in order.

KimberlyHirsh
KimberlyHirsh

@jayeless It's a few years old, but this Teen Vogue article clued me in to the world of online secondhand shopping.

JMaxB
JMaxB

@jayeless Thanks for these reflections. I've been riled up about these questions since reading the very good People's History of Clothing recently. (It's really more a history of fabric production.) Even "natural" fabrics take a terrible toll on people and land. Using less and using it more thoughfully seems like the only way. We buy most clothes at thrift shops, of which there are many around here -- a benefit for us of people's wastefulness! At least that extends the life of the garments we buy. It occurred to me not long ago that I most likely have all the clothes I'll need for the rest of my life.

Stefanyeah
Stefanyeah

@jayeless 7 times on average is… shocking. I got wore my cheap H&M t-shirts for years until they got holes and fell apart. Some of my band shirts might only have been worn 7 times, but that's because I've got so many of them and only wear them on 'special' occasions to make them last forever…

A colleague of mine told me once, he knows people shopping at Primark and wearing their clothes once before throwing them away. I just do not understand. But then, I was raised with a mix of stuff that was knitted for me, some handed down things and some things that have been bought.

odd
odd

@jayeless

That said, I also think it’s a total deflection strategy for liberals to blame “the market” for buying cheap mass-produced clothes instead of ever blaming penny-pinching capitalist scumbags for treating their workers with cruelty, or designing for rapid obsolescence in order to sell more product (with the later disposal of those products being very much Not Their Problem under our current econonomic system). Why blame ordinary people, mostly overworked and struggling with the cost of living, just wanting to buy something affordable to wear, instead of the people who actually caused this problem with their decisions about how to structure their businesses (and the economy in general)?

Yep. (Timely article btw).

annahavron
annahavron

@jayeless excellent article! when we had three people in college in our household at the same time, and money was very tight, I created a sort of capsule wardrobe (essentially a set of uniforms) for myself. this really cut down on my clothing spending, though because I do love novelty I have more than my share of handbags and scarves! I also found that when I was able to buy higher quality clothing, and be really intentional about owning much less clothing, I was motivated to take better care of it. and agreed that so much of this waste is systemic

Miraz
Miraz

@artkavanagh LOL