If you showed up to read part two in my coming clean about my consumption journey*, welcome back (*consumption journey – a nicer way of saying shopping problem).
Prior to publishing these posts, I spent a lot of time looking at the situations in which I end up doing the most mindless purchasing and came up with ways to deal with each one. In part one, I spoke specifically to thrifting, consignment, and sale shopping. Also, in part one of this post, I showed picture of all the things I was sending to ThredUp. It ended up taking three of their pouches to get that pile in the mail to them. Some of the brands I sent off include Reformation, Tory Burch, Asos, Nordstrom, Banana Republic, and even Lanvin. Does it make it any better for my wallet and the environment that these are all a) for the blog, b) from the secondary market, c) on sale, and d) all the above (see explanation for these here).
Included in this post are a couple of pics of one small sliver of only one of my closets. That is the only closet in our master bedroom that I share with my husband and I am slowly taking over his side as well. And you may have noticed that I said this is just one of my closets. I have clothes in part of my teenager’s closet, on a double-sided rack in the garage, and a rack in our dining room that – in my defense – is there because it will eventually serve as a selfie space. I also have 4 large plastic storage bins full of family heirlooms and fun vintage purchases that I started saving decades ago for my future daughters….and then I had two boys. Now I am saving these items for any potential granddaughters or at least a fashion loving daughter-in-law if the universe really has a funny sense of humor and only gives me grandsons (more on that in a future post #boymom).
But before I get into what I will do to reduce my consumption, I do want to take a moment to explain that this does not mean I will give up on thrifting and otherwise hunting for deals. I also want to explain that I will continue to collect fashion as I do art, books, milk glass, and vintage cigar boxes (random, I know, but they are the best smelling, storage boxes you can display anywhere). There are still pieces I would like to acquire, and we will be doing a “thrift intensions” video soon. But these are very specific items (think Hermes scarf by Texas designer Kermit Oliver).
I am taking a break from eBay for a while. When I do go back, I will limit the general searches to specific designers or items that I am collecting. No more sifting through endless listings of “vintage boho dress” since I have enough of those already. Instead I will use eBay to purchase the Chanel purse of my dreams or the Manolo Blahnik Hangisi pumps I have been stalking for years. Two classic items that will be a great addition to my closet and stand the test of time both in style and construction.
The Real Real
I cannot take a complete break from The Real Real because I am a consigner with them who has active sales currently. Plus, I just love their site and their mission. They also reminded me of one exception to thrifting – I tend to find a lot of designer items at Goodwill and the like and I often buy them to consign them to The Real Real. To me, that is making a profit while finding these items a good home and not traditional “consumption.” My plan is to locate a couple of my designer dream purchases and save up the credit until I have enough to buy that one nice, out-of-reach-at-full-price item.
Fast Fashion in General
My excuse for fast fashion is that sometimes I do not have the time to thrift and I need to inject a little bit of inspiration into my tired closet. If I do not have the time to properly and sustainably purchase something, then I just don’t need to purchase anything at all I need to challenge myself to find the inspiration from something that I have not worn in quite some time or that I flat out forgot I own as there is plenty of both in my wardrobe. Just a few weeks ago, I caved on 75% off cute cropped sweater from Zara. Just a few days ago I found two cuter options at Buffalo Exchange. I was there to sell back even more “shit” (again, see post one) and I discovered that I had a bit of remaining credit. They were cheaper (while technically while not free, there was no outlay of cash to purchase them), better for the environment, one was a classic brand that will stand the test of time quality-wise (Land’s End), and both were much cuter than their Zara counterpart. Also, I doubt I will see anyone else wearing either of these sweaters walking down South Congress.
In general, I am being incredibly selective when it comes to which shopping eblasts I will continue to receive, and which shopping apps remain on my phone. I have a seldom-used personal email where I will send the few blast subscriptions and check it once a week or as needed for the blog (content not consumption). Do I really need all these tempting eblasts or colorful apps? It is not as if I do not know these stores exist and they is always a sale going on somewhere.
Who I Will Continue to Support?
Locally owned, women owned, smaller designers and artists, and sustainable brands and sites. I also don’t think I can give up Shopbop, Nordstrom, Etsy, Net-a-Porter, and My Theresa completely. Some of the eblasts subscriptions I kept include Reformation, Modern Citizen, Aritzia, & Other Stories, Janessa Leone, Threads 4 Thought, Doen, Christy Dawn, and Farm Rio.
We would love to hear from you. If you have reevaluated your own shopping habits and if you have any tips or tricks that work for you, please share. We will check back in on how these guidelines are working and how other areas of our lives are affected, including this blog. We are looking forward to all the new content ideas that came from brainstorming ways to shop our closets and we look forward to sharing those too.
Images by Breezy Ritter