Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Buy Less and Use More? Explorations in Changing our Consumption Patterns

Photo by Ron Lach on Pexels

Underuse and overbuying lead to too much stuff. Understanding why you buy and contemplating changes in your behavior is the road to change. 

 Did you know The Princess of Wales wore a rented gown to a gala in 2022? It was an event focusing on solutions to pressing environmental concerns and attendees were asked to focus on sustainability in attire, but she’s not alone.

Cate Blanchette opted to re-wear only, i.e., no new outfits, at a film festival in 2020.

In 2019, Jane Fonda vowed not to buy any more clothes.

The average garment is worn only about seven times. Americans typically buy at least one clothing item a week (yes, a week!). Some of us can even find things we’ve had for years with the tags still on, or garments we’ve worn only once or twice. Most of us have $7000 of unused stuff. I wasn’t able to verify the origin of this last figure, but look around you. It makes sense doesn’t it?

The Jane Fonda pledge stuck in my mind even though, like the Princess and Cate, I’m quite sure they all have more, and more expensive, clothes in their closets than I. Yet, when I look in my closets and drawers, if I’m completely honest, I do not need more.

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