I stop to stroke the velvet top, sequins glinting in the bright shop lights and imagine wearing it. I can picture myself looking beautiful, feeling popular, my life would be better if I buy this top!
It’s a trap I’ve fallen into too many times, that little voice in my head saying ‘ooh look, thats pretty, you NEED that top in your life’. The difference is that I now have another voice saying ‘but do you really?’ The voice that knows how quickly the instant gratification fades from my life and instead ends up heaped in a pile of unworn clothes, there to remind me of the money wasted and damage done.
After a few months of letting this new voice become louder and more confident, I’ve set myself a challenge to not buy anything new for a year, maybe longer. I’ve given up fast fashion! I can hear you all thinking, no way, I know because that’s what I initially thought too. Surely I can’t walk through Primark without picking up the new ‘must have’ top. But spoiler alert, I can and so can you!
It’s still dark outside as I hear the clink of glass bottles being placed on our doorstep, the milkman collecting our empties and walking quietly away. Bleary eyed I open the door and reach for the fresh bottles as Finlay runs down the corridor, ‘is that the milk?’ he says, reaching for it to take for his breakfast. I think this is probably my favourite swap!
The changes I am making aren’t just limited to clothes buying habits, they are spreading across everything I and we as a family do. Now as I walk down the shopping isle I reach for the bananas that are loose, unwrapped in plastic. I search for boxed products instead of their plastic bagged counterparts. And we recycle at home religiously, showing the children how to wash out their yoghurt pots first before placing them in the recycling bin.
Where once the shower shelf was littered, literally, with plastic bottle after plastic bottle of shampoos, conditioners, shower gels and other beauty items. It now has a shampoo bar, soap in a dish and glass bottles of body scrub and conditioning treatment.
The side of the sink looks different too with reusable facial rounds, a bamboo toothbrush and various natural beauty products in more sustainable packaging than before. Everything, once used up, is being replaced by a more sustainable option.
And do you know what has surprised me the most, I love all the swaps! I feel passionate about the items I’m using. My mind feels clearer from the relentless pressure of keeping up with fashion and I know I am doing my part. Yes it’s a very small part but one I feel I can live happier with and won’t look back on as I get older with regret.
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