Friday, February 15, 2008


I was sort of off topic this week. I want to focus on simplicity, but I got pulled into politics. I don't like politics, but I feel they are extremely important (and fairly corrupt). I'm trying not to discuss them on my blog, but occassionally they slip out. So today I'm returning to simplicity.

Clothing. We all wear clothes, but I think they are often quite wasteful. I am currently wearing a shirt and pants that were purchased second hand. I checked my socks out from the locker room and my shoes and underwear were purchased new from the store. Honestly, my outfit is almost always made up of outerwear purchased second hand and underwear and shoes purchased new.

Here's another of my weaknesses: Shoes. I really think it's possible to get shoes second hand, and I even own one pair of second hand shoes, but it's hard to find something that looks OK and fits reasonably well. When purchasing new shoes, I know there is a lot of baggage that comes with shoes. I think a lot or made under inhumane conditions, and I probably buy those because it's all I can afford. I can't believe I said that. I really shouldn't be able to afford to support inhumane conditions of a fellow human, but instead I can't afford shoes? Anyway, I buy cheap shoes. That will be one thing that I can change when I make more money. When I buy new shoes, I will spend more to get shoes that I know were made under humane conditions. I do, however, wear my shoes until they are completely worn out.

I suppose you could consider wearing new underwear a weakness, but really I am not going to start wearing used underwear, that's just sort of weird. I do, however, wear my underwear until they are completely worn out (Yes Mom, they do get washed before they are worn through).

I buy my clothes second hand, which I think is good. I wonder if it would be better to buy locally produced clothes made under good working conditions (at this point I couldn't afford clothes like that), or if it is better to buy cheap clothes produced under poor conditions second hand. For now I will continue to buy second hand clothes.

Now comes the big question. I wear my clothes until they are worn out, but then what do I do with them. I like to recycle the fabric, but that is sometimes difficult. I have a couple of pairs of pants that have irrepairable holes in the crotch. There's still plenty of good fabric on the pants, but they're a bit breazy and sometimes embarrassing. The pants will sometimes be cut up to be used as toilet wipes or reusable facial tissues, but the fabric isn't always suitable for that. For example, what do you do with cordaroy that is no longer usable as a piece of clothing? I'm still working on that. Rags are an OK use, but you can only have so many rags.

There is one line of clothing that I purchase new (usually). Cycling clothes. I have one pair of thermal tights that I use for winter riding. They are difficult to find used, and these tights are responsible for keeping me warm on mornings like today when it is 8 degrees on my way into school. I may be justifying my desire for "new stuff", but I feel that investment is sort of important and hard to get something that is effective and comfortable used.

I think the best thing about the way that I dress is that nobody will ever mistake me for being stylish or trying to impress people with my clothes.


Heather said...

I know people who make quilts out of worn out clothes....

Emily Allan Wood said...

I also promote the quilt idea. Even if you can't use it, you can give it to charity. Everyone needs a blanket. My mom can make a whole quilt in one day. Its fast and easy. You could also start a clothing line of quilted clothes for children...just patch them all together and then make a pair of pants or a shirt or something out of them.