Challenge Complete!


12 whole months without purchasing a single item of clothing, a new pair shoes, handbags or jewellery! Wow! I never thought I’d be able to do it!

Obviously, the big temptation is to suddenly go crazy and go on a buying rampage, but I’ve managed to stay calm and collected. I will admit though that I did buy some new bras today (come on…a whole year without any new ones!)

I’ve begun compiling a list of brands which are ethical or are well on their way to being so, and this will be the list I go to for my clothes shopping from now on. A great Australian app called ‘Good on You‘ has been really helpful in offering ratings on a range of brands based on labour standards and effects on animals and the environment. Marks and Spencers are rated ‘Good’, as are Monkee Genes, however, Topshop, H&M and Primark are rated as ‘It’s a start.’ It is a developing app though, so don’t expect to find all of your favourite shops.

The Fashion Revolution, as mentioned in previous blog post, have published a fashion transparency index which review how much big fashion brands disclose about their social and environmental impact. Again, Marks and Spencer come out fairly well, as do Gap, Adidas and H&M. Whereas, Amazon, Monsoon, Urban Outfitters and Matalan, score very poorly.

So, it will be another challenge finding ethical stores in the UK (so you don’t have to spend loads of shipping costs), that are not really expensive.

Last week, I also wrote an article based on my experience this year which my mother-in-law has sent off to some Salvation Army publications (Salvation Army is my church), so hopefully my story will get to be shared with others, which is pretty exciting!

There it is! My last post for this blog. I may start another about ethical fashion…if I have enough time, that it! Thank you for everyone that has taken the time to follow and encourage me on this journey, it’s been fun!


A Fashion Revolution

I’d just like to take a moment to talk about a global movement that is taking place called ‘Fashion Revolution‘. I first came across this organisation on Instagram after following others who are pursuing a buying habit of purchasing sustainable clothing. The movement looks to work with the fashion industry to cultivate a culture of consumers thinking more carefully about where and how their clothes are made.

On 24th-30th April is Fashion Revolution Week where people are encouraged to ask fashion brands, “Who made my clothes?” If you’d like to take part, the organisation provides a variety of ways to contact your favourite clothes brands about their chain of supply.

As one of my reasons for quitting clothes and accessories shopping for a year is because I don’t want to support an industry that relies on poorly paid workers to produce their products, the Fashion Revolution presents a good way for me to get involved in trying to make a difference. It’s all very well for me to make a personal choice about my purchasing habits, but unless I add my voice to others who have the same concerns, my choice will make little difference.whomade

Almost 9 months through…

It’s been a while since my last blog post and since then my crave of wanting to buy has definitely increased. As the season changes it is easy to get into the normal thought process of shedding those thick, woolly jumpers and wanting buy something new and fresh for the spring. I have had to avoid all email updates from Cath Kidston, and the like, to deny myself the chance of sighing over all the pretty clothes, shoes and bags coming out for the warmer months. I feel that I shouldn’t be so easily persuaded to buy because a new line has come out, but as the kids say, it’s FOMO*.

I’m still really proud of myself for sticking with this challenge. More often than not, I set myself a resolution or a new way of doing something and I fail within a week. I’m even quite surprised at myself for not coming up with a reason to abandon this challenge and revert back to old ways. There were times when I thought that I just seemed like I was being self-righteous when talking to people about it, or that maybe I was going about this challenge the wrong way, but I’ve been encouraged by others and it’s interesting to see an equal divide between people who respond to my challenge, “Wow, I couldn’t do that! A whole year?!” and “I think I could do that.” If you’re reading this and wondering if you can do a year without buying clothes, shoes, bags and jewelry, I want to say to you, “Yes you can.”

The main things to consider are:

  • Your wardrobe – how much do you own?
  • Do you have enough to keep you covered for every season?
  • How much would it affect your spending if you stopped buying clothes?
  • What do you want to get out of it: an appreciation of what you already have; to save money; to save the environment; to have a wardrobe detox?

I think my reasons for doing this challenge are a mixture of all the above. I do aim to buy more consciously when I complete it and I’ve learnt some tips about how to look after what I already have. It’s also quite humbling when you spend a year not buying new things. It puts into perspective the majority of our population who don’t have spare cash to treat themselves. I am in the top 5% of income earners in the UK. It shouldn’t be hard to give up clothes shopping for a year…right?



*fear of missing out

Halfway through!

6 months into the challenge and still no clothes, shoes, handbags etc.! It’s a shame I haven’t been able to keep this blog up-to-date, but life gets in the way, you know…

However some great things have happened in this last few months!
1. My challenge has inspired someone at work to take it up with her children for 6 months, apparently her husband is very happy about it!!
2. I’ve managed to buy all my Christmas presents without involving fashion, which would always be my go-to product in the past.
3. Although this challenge isn’t solely about saving money, I have managed to save enough in the last 6 months to go to Amsterdam after Christmas!

Now that the Christmas holidays have begun, now I’ll be able to concentrate more on researching companies who produce and/or sell Fair trade, ethically produced or environmentally friendly items. A company that I have already used is Natural Collection. Unfortunately, a few companies I’ve come across only seem to sell in the US. I especially liked The Tote Project who I discovered through @michelleforgood on Instagram. Their products are made by women in India who have come out of the sex trade and 20% of the profits go to a charity called Two Wings. Monkee Genes is an English brand selling ethical jeans. It’s more than I would usually pay but considering the material is ethically sourced and the workers are paid a fair wage, I might just go for it!
On 10th December I volunteered for the Fair Christmas Fayre at The Salvation Army on Oxford Street. This gave me the chance to explore I range of independent sellers who make fair trade, recycled and upcycled products. So find your local market and choose to buy from traders who make their own products with ethically sourced materials.

Please explore the links to see what you think! If anyone has any companies that they would recommend please let me know.