I thought that an update about some of the experienced difficulties emanating from actually living up my “year’s restrictions”. Notably, I did not come up with changing my life style into a more sustainable life style with the aim to quit after a successful year. Naturally, I regard this year as some kind of test phase for achieving a long-term change.
Almost three full months passed and I can sincerely tell that these three months have been more difficult than I expected.
It seems that I am surrounded by fashion all the time. I have never been a “fashion victim”, but I experience a classic dilemma: “Don’t think about a pink elephant”. I am pretty sure that you had to think about a pink elephant! I conduct research in the fashion industry and as soon as I “put down my pen”, I overhear people talking about their new purchases or engage in discussions around the upcoming fashion season over a short fika. When I see my friends presenting their latest purchases, I feel some sort of dissatisfaction. I want to go and buy new stuff and have realized that I am still trying to compensate my purchases with other things that could give me an equally satisfying feeling. I haven’t found it yet though.
When I sort my mail (print and online), it seems that I am exposed to sales advertisements or when I enjoy my sports in the climbing gym or a generic gym, because before I enter the changing rooms, I have to pass through in-store fashion stores that help me be part of the community.
Just a short recap: My basic intention was to refrain from buying new fashion products (especially fast-fashion products, such as produced by H&M, Zara, etc.) for a full year. As of now I think that I have done quite a satisfying job. Despite purchasing running shoes, of which my request for a statement at Rangsell is still pending and a pair of winter climbing gloves, which was absolutely necessary to climb glaciers during my winter vacation, I could manage to complete three full months. I justified my two purchases, because they can be ascribed to the category “necessary equipment” for my sportive leisure activities. Despite that, I feel somewhat torn regarding this, because I am well aware that running shoes are truly not good for their environmental impact and social impact and winter climbing gloves are made out of goat leather.
I experience certainly very good feelings about my decision though. And these are exceeding the negative ones. First, after three months I can say that I have saved quite some time, money and energy that I would perhaps otherwise have spent on hunting down the upcoming season’s fashion picks. Now I can walk along a shopping street, or in-store gym shops and be without feeling the need to walk in and look for options to buy. I feel that I am more in control of what I really want and that feels great!
Written by: Tina Sendlhofer, PhD student at Misum