Why I’ll Never Buy New Clothes For Myself Ever Again!!!

In looking at reducing waste in my life, it’s hard to ignore fast fashion. I’m no fashionista by any means, but I do like an online bargain. I’ve been a sucker for sales hitting my inbox or popping up on my feed. I love the convenience of being able to choose something, order it and have it delivered in 2-3 days. Do I get good wear out of it? Mostly. But sometimes it’s too long for me or the wrong shape so I give it away.

It’s the end of life that’s problematic. I did a massive sort of all the clothes in our household and there were quite a lot of items that I wouldn’t donate. I don’t donate anything will pills or stains. I will give it a good go at getting the stains out. I’m on such a buzz of using what I have. It’s a great feeling to give something a new lease of life. Meanwhile, I ended up with 4 bags of ‘scrap material’ – old shirts of Andrew’s that had been in storage with odd stains, kindy clothes with paint stains and dirty bottoms, merino with holes and comfy clothes that I’d worn to death. I wasn’t entirely sure what to do with them. Andrew is a builder so he repurposes quite a few items for scraps/drop cloth type things. I took bags and bags to H&M for their clothing recycling programme. I’m not sure where else they can be recycled.

Speaking of H&M, when I think of all of the clothing stock, in all of the different retail stores in our malls, plus their warehouses, for all seasons, in a range of colours and sizes – it hurts my heart. So many clothes end up in our landfills. Manufacturers have been known to burn excess stock (Burberry). What a waste. The human cost also cannot be ignored. We have to ask ourselves if it’s worth it.

The fashion industry is responsible for 8-10% of global carbon emissions, more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined, according to the United Nations Environment Program. The industry is the second largest consumer of water. https://www.oxfam.org.nz/news-media/blog/fast-fashion-gets-the-boot-in-2020/

I haven’t bought a new item of clothing in almost a year. I thought it would be really hard to stick to, but I think being post partum makes it a bit easier (for me personally frumping around the place). By the way if I need knickers, I’ll buy them. Or maybe I could make them myself… I have ‘window shopped’ online – ie I’ve added items to my cart and then just left them there. Sure, I might *want* something, but do I really need it?

I think the answer is no. I recently faced the challenge of returning to work with not much to fit my new shape. I lamented that I had no time to op shop – accustomed to online purchasing. I went to Save Mart, but felt flustered with the 9 month old. It’s so hard to try things on in a tiny cubicle and not freak out your baby and maintain your dignity. I hit Trade Me and FB Marketplace with great success. I chose brands of dresses I’m familiar with – I got to borrow some Karen Walker dresses from my cousin during Frocktober between kids and the A line is flattering on me. I got 3 Karen Walker dresses for $30-$40 each, a Max dress for $1 and a Mink Pink dress for $10. All in great condition in colours I love!

I might be getting carried away and still buzzing from my bargains, but I don’t think I’ll ever need to purchase a new item of clothing for myself  again. And I don’t think I’ll miss out on anything. It’s made me think about the kids’ clothes. They go through so many. We’re so lucky to receive hand-me-downs from family and friends but I find myself topping up when they go up a size or with change of season. I guess I can start by being more thoughtful about my purchases. I should make a list of what they *need* and then try to source it in the community first. The op shop down the road is so cool. It’s like a wee boutique!

What do you think? Do you purchase 2nd hand? Would you?

The Self Consciousness of Parenthood

I couldn’t breastfeed because…
I had to have a c section because…
I let her do that because…
I decided to do it that way because…

As a parent, I quite often find myself explaining my decisions or circumstances to others. Sometimes unprompted too. So why is that? I think it’s because I’m used to questions and judgement. Sometimes direct and pointed, and other times perhaps merely perceived.

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Something’s Gotta Give

I was at the doctors for my sick baby with my toddler in tow, her hand in a cast. She had undergone surgery on her finger the day before, going under general anaesthetic. It had been an exhausting 48 hours for all of us and the baby was totally congested with conjunctivitis. I had barely slept, likely hadn’t had a shower or any breakfast. I had scored an appointment with 10 minutes notice so had to wake the sleeping children and get them dressed in record time and bundle them into the car. We made it. A few minutes late but we made it. The baby was checked and then I had a question for the nurse about Jessica’s cast. I was on auto pilot so it was a bit surreal as I uttered the following words: who is best for me to talk to about post natal depression?

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Imposter Syndrome: Mum Edition

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“What do you want?” This is something I’ve found myself uttering to my baby at all times of the day and night. It comes off a bit harsh, so I try again: “I don’t know what you want” or “Mummy doesn’t know what you want”. Because I don’t. I have no confidence and find myself feeding him every 2 hours during the day because I have nothing else in my toolkit. Sometimes I correctly guess that he’s tired. And so to give him the relief of sleep, I need to feed him and rock him to sleep. Oh and he needs to be on me and have his dummy. Often though he’s overtired. Poor little guy. Sometimes it’s fine. I have nowhere to be and nothing I (really) need to do. But now at 12 weeks, the ideas of things I could be doing are piling up in the ‘yeah but you can’t’ pile.

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Why Is Motherhood So Hard?

Nothing in life has prepared me for this.

I’ve gotten this far in life using strategies, problem solving skills and resilience to deal with all sorts of situations.

I usually figure something out through trial and error, or learning by researching beforehand or watching someone else do it first.
At work, I communicate and collaborate with others and apply my knowledge and experience to come up with the best outcome. I use best practice where applicable.

But motherhood, this is different. Continue reading

What Will Be Different With Baby #2

I started Learning To Crawl was because I was trying to figure out becoming a parent for the first time. I learned heaps along the way, but that’s not to say I’ve got this sussed! I’m still learning all about myself, my daughter and my partner. As any parent of young children will tell you, shit changes all the time. You get one thing sorted and the next challenge pops up. With lots of heartwarming stuff in between. In April next year we’ll throw a newborn into the mix. So here’s what I’ll do differently this time…

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Learning To Shave (with a Safety Razor)

My less-waste journey has led me to a safety razor. What is it? It’s a plastic-free razor with a single blade that your Dad might’ve used on his face (if you’re old enough). At first I was shit-scared of cutting my legs, but after two months I’ve shed my training wheels and won’t be going back to disposable razors. If you’r curious, I’d like to shed some light on the unknown. Continue reading