This September I am truly challenging myself. Late Friday night I got a message from one of my oldest friends asking me if I had heard about @oxfam second hand 30 day challenge. I replied with “oooo00oo, tell me more” and within 30 minutes we had both signed the pledge.
So why me, why did she message me out of everyone? I can answer that, because I have a serious shopping addiction, an addiction that in the past has even put me into serious debt. I have always loved shopping, I even have memories of a 13 year old me buying pieces from my local New Look in Alton and just holding the bag full of goodies made me feel great. Then when I got home I would lay it on my bed or hang it up somewhere I could admire it, these was the days before I could take a photograph and share it with the world. I literally got a rush of endorphins. Even when the majority of shopping moved online, receiving them via the front door was just as exhilarating. And I still have a space in my room where I hang newly bought pieces to admire, much to the nuisance of my husband, as sometimes it may stop the ability for him to open his wardrobe.
Then came the internet, it wasn’t till I finished uni that I came across my first plus size fashion bloggers @gabifresh and @beckybarnesblog and they changed my outlook. I got to see women with a similar body to be looking amazing and buying fashion that wasn’t available to plus size women for the large majority of my life. Back then before Instagram I would save or screenshot their images straight from their blogs and then hunt online to find similar pieces, and a lot of the time I would find them as second hand pieces on @ebayuk
Pictures from my old blog…where I mainly bought second hand.
Then Instagram came into my life, now I could simply bookmark looks that I loved and instead of scouring the net for hours I could simply click, swipe up or comment to find out where I could get my hands on the clothing I adored. That partnered with easily available credit, low stock notifications and discount emails my addiction grew. It is only recently when I have had some issues with my health that I have started to take note of what I have been doing. I spoke about money with my mum and friends, and my mum described me as a ‘spender’. Now, and only recently am I on top of my budget, so when the Oxfam pledge came along it could not have come at a better time.
So these are my motives but what are the aims of Oxfam? They are not collecting any monies, they are simply asking you to pledge to BUY NO NEW clothing for the 30 days of September. Their goal is to actually raise awareness of the environmental impact of fast fashion. Fast fashion are words we are hearing a lot at the moment, but what does it mean? Fast Fashion (noun) ‘inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends’. So why is this causing an environmental issue? Every week 11 million items of clothing end up in landfill. Throwaway fashion is putting increasing pressure on our planet and its people – it’s unsustainable. Another buzzword that we keep hearing ‘sustainable fashion’, but reading the headlines on the Oxfam page it needs to be taken seriously.
So, this pledge is not only going to be beneficial to my wallet but to our planet! Nicola Tallett, the charity’s director of engagement, was quoted saying in a Guardian article that “its long enough to force you to create new habits, but not so long that it feels daunting”.
I am so on board with the pledge I am not only NOT buying new clothes for myself but for my whole family, I am equally as guilty of overspending on my two young children.
The plan is to document my 30 day pledge here and on Instagram to keep you updated with how I get on and I will be completely honest with you. Let me know if you are going to join me in the comments below.