My favourite clothes are hand-me-downs

Honestly, I kind of love being on the receiving end of somebody’s closet dump. I don’t know what it is, but it gives me an extra sense of enjoyment. It’s almost like I’m carrying a part of the person who it used to belong to with me and in most cases, I like that.

As the oldest in my nuclear family and the only female of all of my cousins until I was about sixteen years old so I had the luxury of never getting stuck with somebody else’s clothes. I might feel differently if I’d been the recipient of a lot of hand-me-downs, but it didn’t really start happening until I was an adult. Now, I have a couple of friends that’ll offer their cast-offs and I often receive pieces from my mom and my aunt. I like it.

Recently, while waiting to meet Cara at a Skytrain station, I noticed this PSA.

We buy three times more clothes than we did in the 80s.

I have a few thoughts on that.

First off, could we scale it back? Could we repair some pieces of clothing before tossing them? Could we hang onto things a little longer and avoid replacing them with something new before it’s absolutely necessary? Sure, all three.

I’ve been giving this some thought for a while, contemplating how I could make my clothing last longer. Part of that is because I really just don’t want to shop for clothes. Part of it is that I don’t have a lot of interest in clothes. The other part is that I’ve been thinking more and more about conserving and reducing waste.

However.

As time has marched on, I feel like the clothing that we have access to has had to be reduced in quality. Everyone wants everything to be so cheap that companies have had to resort to lower value to keep prices low. This isn’t true of all companies, of course, but I’ll be honest – I haven’t always cared.

As I’ve thought more about buying clothes that will last, I’ve started to brainstorm more about how to repair, revise or even make my own clothes. It’s certainly something I’m interested in, but I’m not sure how much time I have to commit to it.

Finally, I think the fact that we, at our house, have such an easy receptacle for our discarded clothing – Kevin can take it to his office and has more than enough opportunities to give it to people who really need it – has made it possible to excuse ourselves from feeling anything about it.

The Think Thrice campaign asks people to reduce, repair, reuse. Do you think about doing any of those things when you’re buying clothes or managing your closet?

Here are some tips on increasing your clothing’s lifespan. Would you add anything to the list?

One Comment

  1. Sarah

    After my recent weight loss, I’ve had to replace nearly my entire wardrobe. I would say 98-99% has come from secondhand or consignment shops. I have gotten GREAT stuff in like-new condition for a fraction of retail prices. I donated or resold most of my old items as well. (Admittedly, worn out socks and other under-things went into the trash.)

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