Following a “use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” philosophy not only protects our planet’s natural resources, but it provides a pause in the consumption cycle allowing for contentment with what we have.
I filled the shopping cart three times, on separate occasions, but stopped short of hitting the checkout button. I selected a beautiful silk dress, cashmere sweater and leather clutch. It would have been a show stopper and I felt good about each piece because they were ethically made.
I couldn’t do it. I’d made a deal with myself to not buy anything new this year and I’m only a few weeks away from finishing the challenge. But there was more to my hesitation. I figured if I was going to drop that kind of money it should be on clothing that I wear every day. This ensemble was for a special occasion and not likely to get much use. I also reminded myself of some big bills coming due in January. There was nothing practical about the contents of that shopping cart.
Instead I went shopping at ARC Thrift Store. Wouldn’t you know, I found a black cocktail dress that fit me to a tee, some statement earrings and a sparkly little clutch. The entire outfit cost me $13.50. I don’t love that the dress is synthetic or that the clutch is a fast fashion brand, but I’d still argue buying secondhand is one of the most ethical choices we can make. At this year’s holiday party, I’ll be making do just fine.