Jill ponders her year without shopping in a fun, fresh, engaging and occasionally informed way

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Boring shopping

Today we're up to post #50. Seems like an auspicious number of posts, doesn't it? I've been posting on average twice a week for six months, which is a fair whack of words to churn out on a regular basis. Some of them are even worth reading.

You know, when I'm working a regular week from the home office, its easy to stay away from the shops. We don't live near a shopping area, so I'm not in mortal danger of falling off the wagon just by nipping down the street for a latte (not that I drink lattes, since I gave up coffee 4 years ago). If I want to place myself in a shopping situation, it's usually fairly deliberate. One of the benefits of living in suburbia (there are too many other benefits to count, right?)

Jolt me into it. So today we had the opportunity to go shopping. One of our heaters went kaput, and at almost the exact same moment, so did the stereo in the living room. These electrical appliances, you'd think they were in cahoots with one another, the way they give up the ghost at the same time. At Christmastime, it was the iron and the toaster. 24 hours apart, they departed this earth. Alerting us to their demise by shorting out the entire electrical circuitry of the house, I might add. Handy - how about a piece of toast? No worries! Then the house is plunged into total darkness. We're mid-winter here in Australia (if you can call it winter, which we like to do even though it doesn't resemble winter as depicted in a Walt Disney film) so when the heater died yesterday, I gave it exactly 3 hours before I declared that a replacement would have to be acquired. You see, I'm a cactus, a tropical plant - I can have cold feet in the middle of summer. So, to be warm is important to me. To those close to me, its essential. I lose all capacity to be reasonable if I'm cold. (or hungry, or tired, but those are for other blog postings). The need for music is slightly up Mazlow's hierarchy of needs but is still on the important scale. So down to Joyce Mayne we went.
What's your IQ? The colours a store uses tell you a lot about it, don't they? Joyce Mayne use bright primary colours - Thomas the Tank Engine blue and sunshine yellow. You don't even have to get out of your car to get a feel for what kind of store it is. There's no real ambiance to the store, as such. It's a lively environment, designed in grid sections. There's no soft lighting or elaborate floor plans that lure you through the store with a pre-determined pattern designed to create a cart-filling experience. Having two brothers as electricians, you'd imagine that perhaps some feeling, some synergy, with electrical goods may have permeated my consciousness. But no, I find these stores one step up from Reece Plumbing Outlet and Auto One in terms of their IQ (Interesting Quotient). I will say though that as a shopping experience, it's been one of the more interesting this year. But then it is planted in a virtually barren landscape of shopping episodes, right?
Are you being served? I will say that the two salesmen who served us (one in the stereo department, the other in heaters - those crazy guys!) were excellent. Helpful without being fawning, honest without being too familiar, knowledgeable without delivering a monologue. They even managed to look vaguely professional in their bright blue shirts with yellow trim (not their fault, I should add, it is a uniform after all). I love it when salespeople say things like "I wouldn't buy this model" and give you a good reason why. In our case, the Dimplex was the same product as the DeLonghi but just $40 more. That's good to know, right? So, 25 minutes after arriving, into the back of the car our DeLonghi oil heater and Panasonic CD player went. And the electrical salt & pepper shakers that were for sale at the cash registers for $19 (so, not clever product placement, but very effective).
Sing it Deborah.... so, as I finish up this scintillating post (well, I'm keeping my average up, right?), Deborah Conway is keeping me company and my DeLonghi is keeping me warm. All I need is a cup of Licorice Legs tea and all will be well with the world. Right?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Command performance - TVNZ Good Morning

G'day and welcome to post #49. I'm just over 6 months into the challenge and am feeling like I have hit an easy patch at the moment. Staying away from the shops is easy, keeping my fingers off my Visa card is easy, keeping away from online temptations is easy. It feels easy right now. Being at home helps, I don't do as much browsing when I'm on home soil. I do most of my shopping when I'm travelling, I've discovered.
Meet you where? I've also worked out that if I arrange a coffee with someone, it's best to do it away from those tantalising places where cafes are snuggled next to boutiques and shoe stores. On the Coast, those places are the Esplanade at Mooloolaba, the Esplanade at Cotton Tree, Hastings Street Noosa, parts of Gympie Terrace in Noosaville and anywhere within spitting distance of the Sunshine Plaza. Love 'em, but best avoided right now. If there was a Coffee Club in an industrial estate that only had businesses like plumbing suppliers, concreters and picture framers, I'd probably be catching up with people there all the time. Not that I have anything against plumbing suppliers, concreters or picture framers. They're usually good people, nice people, salt of the earth. They just sell stuff that generally doesn't grab me, you know? No temptation there.
Command performance. I promised you earlier this week that I'd spill the beans on my experience of being on another New Zealand TV show, this time Good Morning. What was so divine about this experience was they contacted me.... Nice to be on the receiving end of an email asking me if I wanted to be a guest on the show, rather than the one initiating that contact. The delightful and talented Lucy contacted me -- she writes and researches on the show and does a damn fine job of it, I might add. After humming and hawwing about logistics (no, no, wasn't playing hard to get - promise! Just had some working out to do), I accepted their invitation to be on the show on June 10.
Windy city. There's a reason why Wellington has the moniker the windy city. Dan was drinking a cappuccino on the street when we were last there (a few years ago) and the top blew straight off it. Onto him, as it turned out (pity the wind wasn't blowing in the opposite direction, he could have foamed some innocent by-stander instead of himself). So I knew it was going to be blowy and packed accordingly. I also packed the gear I was going to use in the second segment Good Morning wanted me to do, on how to mix'n'match your gear to get the most outfit combinations possible. If you haven't seen that segment, you can check it out on the website.
June 10 was a stunning day. A show-off kind of day -- look at me, aren't I gorgeous? kind of day. My driver Sam picked me up and we chatted as we wound our way through the traffic to Lower Hutt where the studios are. Having studied criminology and now studying film and television, Sam was an interesting conversationalist and I arrived at the studios feeling relaxed (thanks Sam!). The photo above right shows the entrance we used... tell ya, we could have been arriving at the plumbing supplies store I mentioned earlier, for all you could tell from the outside. Television really is a business like any other so I guess the outside of the building doesn't matter all that much. I was glad to be arriving at the back entrance - too many paparazzi at the front. Ha ha!
Sarah was interviewing me and as I arrived in the illustrious back entrance, she was sitting in the green(ish) room, eating yogurt and chatting to the floor people. These are the folks who wear those important looking headsets with built-in microphones (like helicopter pilots wear) and who walk without making a sound. Oh, they also manage the studio floor although I don't know if "floor people" is what appears on their business cards. I use that term with the utmost respect and care, naturally. Sarah and I chatted a bit about this, that and the other. The coat I was wearing, fashion in general, is the colour turquoise really in, you know - the important topics. I then got to cool my heels in the green room before make up. I've only met two TV make up people in my life, and both of them were great. Friendly and chatty, they made me feel relaxed. Considering they also have the power to make you look like Herman Munster, it's a good idea if you're nice to them. Which in my case that day, was very easy.
Studio 11 is where the show was being shot and the closest my camera was allowed was the photo of the door you see above right. No photos allowed inside the studio. No worries. The first segment was the interview, cue sofas and soft lighting. Sarah and I were chatting so much about other things (like living in New York, movies we liked) that she actually had to shush me when were due to go on air. Sarah made it so easy to be relaxed, it felt like we were old friends, and I reckon that comes across on camera. You can see the interview for yourself on the website so I wont say more about it, except Yes it was as fun and relaxed to do as it looks on screen (hopefully it looks like it was fun and relaxed). We were chatting so much in between the segments (while you at home were watching ads about Easy Off Bam! and Lite'N'Easy eating plans) that I forgot to straighten my shirt for the standing up segment. You wouldn't have noticed unless I'd told you, right? Damn! Where is that delete button when I really need it? The second segment was a lot of fun and I really liked how the camera caught Sarah's spontaneous response to some of my nonsense (the amputation comment for example). She's a professional, I know, and its her job to make it easy for guests.... but she really seemed to enjoy the segments. At least, that's what I'm telling myself.
All done. When it was over, Sarah made positive sounds about how great I was (really, she said that, unfortunately the cameras weren't on at that stage, but I wouldn't make this up, would I?) and how much fun the segments were. She then scooted over to the "kitchen area" where they were filming after the break, and I got to pack up all my gear and tiptoe out of the studio. Sneaking over my shoulder to take a photo of the door as I left. It was such a delightful experience and even though the Breakfast show was good, I felt so much more relaxed the second time around. By the time I get to Oprah, I'll be lying on the couch, I'll be so relaxed (no jumping on it for me!). And yes, of course I'm kidding about Oprah... who'd lie on her couch! Right?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Go Shoppa!

Greetings and welcome to post #48. My average has slipped the last couple of weeks, I know. Up until early June, I'd been blogging here twice a week. And then, bam!, all of a sudden, only one post a week. What happened?
NZTV. Well, Wellington happened mainly. I was invited to go back to New Zealand to appear on another TV show. So, I was lounging around the green room and wandering around the Cuba district of the city instead of sitting in front of my PC, fingers poised, waiting for inspiration. You can head on over to the website to check out the segments if you like (they're at the bottom of the page) - just remember to come back here, ok? Then last week was the big ole halfway point so I wanted to savour that moment for a moment. Now that's over, I'll get back to posting a couple of times a week.
Seriously shoppa. The photo here was taken on the road in Auckland when we were there in May. We were leaving the Auckland Museum when this car appeared in front of us. Holy cow, would ya look at that number plate! we exclaimed to each other. Avoiding the obvious errors in spelling, this appeared to be one person seriously interested in shopping, right? This got me thinking about shopping statistics and here's what I've discovered after an extensive 4.5 minute search on Google:
How much time? The average woman spends up to 8 years of her life shopping. This is according to a OnePoll.com survey. They study all the interesting stuff. Now, they didn't tell us if that was over the average lifespan of say an 80 year old woman, or if that still applies if one is cut down in the prime of life at say 35. So, we don't know if that's one-tenth of a woman's life is spent in the pursuit of purchasing, or say one-quarter. Actually, we have no idea if this statistic is even true. But here's what we do know. In recent months, this statistic has been quoted all over the online world and on one website, comments about it were allowed, and a woman from Cambridge in the UK quipped "only eight?" So that's an interesting response, right? I guess if you're a shopper, then you're doing something that you love and you spend more time at it. The British TV show Shopping is my Life showcases women who spend up to 12 hours a week (and that's every week not some aberrent demented shopping bender) shopping for clothes, shoes and accessories. Some of these women are corporate high flyers who one might imagine have bottom line responsibilities, budgets to manage and team meetings to attend. And yet they still find 12 hours a week to shop. That's dedication. Or something.
How many items? Another study estimates that women buy at least 14 items of clothing a year that they never wear. These items hang or sit in the wardrobe, tags still attached, unworn, unloved, unrecoverable in terms of initial cost outlay. Churchills, who did the study, go on to say that many of these "orphans" are purchased during SALE times. See, I knew that sale really was a four-letter word! That's a lot of wasted shopping time. And a lot of wasted money. Since you're here, reading this, I'll give you a free bonus tip. Ready? If you wouldn't pay full price for it, don't even consider buying it on sale. Why would you? If its cheapness is the major reason you're buying it, something is off with the purchase. Even quality or designer stuff is not worth buying if the only reason you're doing so is because its cheap.
Actually, you know what? The same goes for buying designer stuff just because it's expensive or "label". That kind of gear usually has a high show-off factor and doesn't do much to express the real you. Now if the real you is a show-off, well, that's another story. Go ahead and buy it! (I've been known to occasionally show off.... ok, I heard your sharp intake of breath there as you gasped in surprise. It's true. So I'm not saying buying show-off-y clothes is bad or wrong. Clearly it's a personal choice).
Rounding up. So, how's that round up of interesting lies, I mean statistics, about shopping? I found it fascinating. Next time I might do a review of my experience of being on NZTV's Good Morning, as it was a bit different to my Breakfast experience. Different city for a start. Brunette presenter. Different questions. I mean, the differences are endless. Well, they'd fill a blog posting anyway.
5.12 weeks. And in the meantime, I'll be congratulating myself at the 1.2 months of my life I have back, now that I'm not spending one-tenth of this year shopping. Sheesh, when you look at it that way, that's a lot of time that you could be spending in so many other ways. Right?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Halfway! Marking Six Months

Greetings and welcome to post #47! If this is your first visit to Shopping my Wardrobe, a special welcome to you today. For the new visitor, you might find a quick tour around some of our most popular articles helpful.... last week's posting shows you where you might like to stop off for a quick visit, before coming back to you join us here.

Today is the halfway point of the challenge. It is June 15 2010 and I've been on this challenge for six months. The photo accompanying this posting is apt - it's a real road sign from the town of Kimba in South Australia, which is situated halfway across Australia on the Eyre Highway. I've not been to Kimba but it could be that that sign is the most interesting thing there. The outback is only romantic in the movies.

You said it was big, but I never knew it was.... big! Ok! So, we're halfway huh? Who knew I'd make it this far? C'mon - show of hands now, don't be shy. I'm a pretty stick-at-it kind of person; there's not much I simply give up on. But this was a real challenge, not one of those faux challenges that aren't really hard at all. Nosiree - no mock quest here! And why was this such a challenge? Well, let's start with the obvious. I love clothes. Some of them even love me. My wardrobe is humongous -- if you want to see some shots of it, click here to go to our new website, and check out the NZTV segment from Breakfast. They showed far too much of my wardrobe on that segment, but then again, I did send them the file (who knew?). ANyway, it gives you a visual of how large my wardrobe is. It has furniture in for Pradas sake! I have been known to sit in with with a girlfriend, champagne glasses in hand, for minutes at a time.

If you build it....This is one of the reasons this challenge has been a true test for me. I've been building my wardrobe for over a decade - I buy well so I don't need to throw things out for seasonal reasons - if it's not "in" it can't really go "out". And I like what I have so I don't tend to throw things out for "I'm over this now" reasons - I'm fairly loyal to my clothes. I don't have many 'orphans' so I don't need to throw things out because they don't work -- everything in my wardrobe pays its rent and plays well with all my other clothes.

Tell me again... why? Being asked this question a few times recently, I've had time to reflect on and polish up my answer to it. And halfway through the challenge is a good time to review why I'm doing this challenge. There are actually five reasons I'm doing this challenge, which you can skip on over to the new site and read. What I'd like to talk about today, on this special day, are the psychological and emotional reasons (Reason #3).

Psyched, man! The biggest thing I have learned so far on this challenge is that I've had an unconscious set of habits around clothing consumption (that's part A) and that I truly am able to develop new habits (that's part B). Ok, so I know about changing habits and patterns - that's been a large part of the work I did as a corporate facilitator, coach and trainer. But it's one thing to help other people attempt to change their habits and patterns, and it's quite another to be your own best coach and change your own.
I'm calling this the Silencing of the Seagulls. Remember the seagulls from Finding Nemo - chanting "mine! mine! mine!" when they saw something (like a potato chip) they wanted? That's what the voice in my head was like when I saw something in a store that I desired. And I'm talking clothes, shoes, earrings, handbags, here, people...

Emotocon. Well, forget the 'con'. The emotional stuff has been owning up to that voice -- who wants to admit you have Pixar characters in your brain? -- and really claiming that. The 9.6 degree of difficulty with this manoeuvre is not making myself bad or wrong because of it. I've felt a range of emotions as I've reflected on my buying behaviour - a dusting of delight, a spritz of shame, a pinch of pleasure, a sprinkle of self-loathing.... you know, the usual. What this buffet table of emotions has led me to is recognition that there is stuff to be uncovered, work to be done, unconsciousness to be awoken in this a-here space. And I'm doing it. Some days the editing voice is strong ("you idiot - how could you have gotten into a situation where you own 3, yes, 3, animal print trench coats? children in India don't even have one!"). Carl Jung spoke to this point when he said "we cannot change anything unless we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses". So, being a fan of Jung, on other days I'm kinder on myself ("you genius! how did you ever convince yourself to buy 3, yes 3, animal print trench coats! there are women in Paris who only own two!").
So far, the emotional and psychological factors have been the biggest hurdles and the most rewarding wins... I feel like I've just come out of the Thieves Forest. A sense of satisfaction at where I've come from, and a growing sense of anticipation about what's to come. And who knows what the next 6 months will bring? Large hail? Damaging winds? Margaritas with umbrellas?
Thank you. To those who have supported me by reading this blog and contacting me "off-blog" with words of inspiration, encouragement and support... I salute you. I've never yearned to be Robinson Crusoe and don't believe that anything worthwhile is ever accomplished on one's own. Basically, I need you. There, I said it. I need you to keep reading, to keep emailing, and to keep sending those cheques. Ok, no-one has sent a cheque, but it's never too late to start, right? Ha!
What now? Well, it's onward and upward... another six months to go. My focus will remain on blogging my usual fresh, fruity and faintly informed insights here. And I'd like to grow this blog a little. You can help! I'd love it if you could share the word about the challenge and this blog and its matching website.... If you're new here and aren't yet a Follower, please become one -- it's free! (and you wont get sent any rubbishy emails) -- Followers tells me I have a readership (and any passing literary agents that we have a potential best-seller.... sorry, did I say that out loud?). When you write into the great boundless blogosphere, knowing people are reading makes a huge difference to your levels of enthusiasm. (Why am I writing that in the third person? It makes a huge difference to my levels of enthusiasm!) So thanks for reading, thanks for being (or becoming) a Follower, and thanks for sharing the word.
Your own year without clothes shopping? If this idea has taken root somewhere in your brain or body.... pay attention! I wish I'd had what I'm developing to help me as I've been going through this challenge.... But you don't have to wish - I'm building it, just for you. Oooh, what a creative delight this project represents! I guess that's what Albert Einstein meant (I'm pulling out the big guns with the quotes in this post, aren't I?) when he said "in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity". Right?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A quick review - we are HERE

Hi there good readers of this blog. Thank you for stopping by. This is post #46 - we're really chalking them up, aren't we? This week, I'm going to do a quick review of some of the favourite posts from the last six months -- that's how long I've been at this blogging thing and any day now, I'll know what I'm doing.

Shopping in review. The photo accompanying this post was taken in the Auckland Museum. It talks about, well, shopping and the rise of the consumer. The mid 19th century was when the shopping centre, as we know it, was first created. Macy's in New York, for example, was opened in 1860. Two years prior to that, a French writer, Emile Zola, was quoted as saying that department stores are "cathedrals of commerce for a congregation of customers". Ha! Cathedrals of commerce indeed! Even all those hundreds of years ago, the competition for customers attention was fierce and tactics such as using celebrity visits were used. The more things change, the more they stay the same huh? Only now we have Lady GaGa and Justin Beiber and then they had Louisa May Alcott and Tchaikovsky. Same same, right?
I thought that photo of a sign was a good accompaniment to this blog posting. Because we're marking a moment in time with this blog. We're looking at the signpost and it says "almost halfway through the challenge! - You Are Here".

What's good here? I've written nearly 50 blog posts since I started writing here in December 2009. That's when I started my 12 month challenge of "shopping my wardrobe" and not going clothing shopping for one year. The posts here vary in quality, research undertaken, readability and (non)sensibility. I try to make each one a little bit fun and a little bit fruity. Here's my top picks:

What do clothes mean? They don't mean everything and they don't mean nothing. It's gotta be somewhere in between, right?

Mix'n'Match. This is really what "shopping your wardrobe" is all about -- having a bunch of stuff in your wardrobe that you can reach for, that make you feel like you are, well, shopping in a store (even if it's not a very large store).

Colour (or color for my north American friends). We know that colour makes a big difference to how we feel. But how does it make a difference to how we look?

The official start. I posted on December 15 2009, which was the official start of the challenge. This was my third blog posting, like ever, and the reason it wasn't the first posting was because I was easing my way into things. This post wont be winning any prizes, but it is an important marker in time.

Resist and Avoid (the Twin Towers to Defeat Temptation). This post in March describes my "falling off the wagon" event and my thinking, at the time, of the best way to stay on it for the rest of the challenge. Thank goodness I didn't drop anchor there and May was a big month for me in that department- lots of learning and peeling back the layers of what the emotional elements of the challenge might be. In Going In, I explored how much I had in common with the seagulls in Finding Nemo. And in my post on Just Looking I wax lyrical about my captivation with clothes and what the crux of this challenge might actually be -- if it's not "resisting and avoiding", that is.

Three Kinds of Shoppers. A little bit of lunacy, but possibly with a hint of truth to it, right?

Must Haves. This was me musing about how the fashion industry gets us reaching into our handbags every season for fear of being, gasp, out of style and not "bang on trend" (ooh, the horror!). Related to this is the mystery of What's In and Why, which (even having it explained in The Devil Wears Prada) I'm still not sure I understand.

Not Quite New. This post explores the options for injecting something new into your wardrobe that's not quite new to the planet. I've got one more category to add to this group, so you'll just have to keep reading to see what it is!

NZTV. I was blessed by being the focus of a 7 minute segment on New Zealand's Breakfast show in early May, and I reflected on that experience here. I'm to be a guest on NZTV's Good Morning show this coming Thursday (June 10), so no doubt another posting will be forthcoming about that experience.
You like? Come follow! If you like what you've read here, please become a follower. It's the only way I'm going to get a book deal - by getting loads and loads of followers! There's an easy-to-follow set of instructions when you click on Follow, in the left hand column.....just scroll down a little bit. (and thanks - I'll mention you in my Acknowledgements, when I sign that book deal)

So.... that it? Yep - that's the round up of the "best ever" blog posts, rodeo goers. Feel free to read all 45 other posts, of course, not just my top picks! Blogs are the online equivalent of Farsi and run in reverse chronological order... the first written are at the bottom and the most recent at the top. Like the girlfriends of Russell Brand, right?

But Wait! There's One More Thing! There really is. I'd love for you to jump on over to the site that goes with this blog --- http://www.shopyourwardrobe.com/ -- and check it out. AND, I'd love for you to click on the button that signals your interest in doing your own Year Without Clothes Shopping, with my support! I'm developing a 12-month membership club for women (and men) who want to stop the cycle of consuming, take control of what may be an out of control habit and "shop your wardrobe". Every week, you'll get a shot of inspiration and support into your Inbox that'll help keep you on the straight and narrow. You'll be able to start anytime you like, and we'll make it as fun and fulfilling as its possible for it to be.

Calling early birds! Once our early bird slots for the membership program are filled, we're going to double the price. Our early birds who signal their interest will be able to join for $1/week. You find that in change under the car mats, by rummaging through your husband's golf shorts, or lurking in the bottom of your handbag, surely? We know it's a crazy price for what we'll be offering, but we're in this together and I want to make it affordable. We plan on being open for business in August ...so please check it out and click that link, chick!

And here's the thing. You really have no idea what 12 months of "shopping your wardrobe" and not going clothes shopping will be like and will do for you ... until you do it. You can't read a book (or a fabulous blog like mine) and discover what it's like. You can't simply imagine your way through a challenge like this - you have to live it. You'll never know what possibilities exist, unless you sign up and do it. Right?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Recycled - buy it here!

Hello and welcome to the most glorious Friday morning. We are up to post #45 and today I'd like to talk about recycled clothing. I arrived early to meet a girlfriend for a coffee the other day and got browsing through a home/interiors magazine. Just love those - even the old ones are fun!

Recycling for Reinvention. There was a one-page story on using recycled things for decorating - things like taking an old crumbling lampshade and painting it in fresh contemporary colours. Or taking someones old correspondence and putting it into an old frame, which could be repainted -- how's that? An electricity bill from 1975 would look sensational in a silver painted frame! Or how about a collection of old jars and containers as grouped decorator items - nothing like an old IXL jam tin together with a milk bottle and tobacco tin to really grab the eye. But we're forgetting about the visual impact that stacking old tattered books together with old balls of string found in grandpa's shed has. The options are endless. Head down into the kitchen or shed of someone who was born before 1939 and you could pick up all kinds of decorator items that, if craftily restored and displayed, could revitalise your interiors!

Buy it here! But what really caught my attention and made me laugh was how all of these recycled old things could be purchased! This piece had a little stockists box at the bottom of it, listing every item in the photograph and how much it was for sale for! "Rusty old metal lamp base that will give you gangrene if you catch your finger on it - $250" or how about "corroded tobacco tins with traces of original tobacco from 1946 - $39 each" or "pile of bills from old Mrs Hackett's garage sale, found in bottom drawer of Laminex telephone hall table with genuine Naugahyde seat, all bills dated the year 1977 - $3 each or $99 for the lot".

Slightly exaggerated. But only slightly. Ok, I've made all of those up - it wasn't as bad as all that. But it was still hilarious -- all the old things in the article were for sale from a decorator shop! Isn't the point of recycling that you don't purchase anything "new" -- "new antiques" being an oxymoron? Isn't recycling about discovering truly old things that someone considers to be rubbish, and revamping them? You don't go looking for recycled things at an interiors store. Do you? Recycle is a verb, isn't it? It's something that we do, not something that we purchase. And the rather scary part of all this was the underlying message that recycling is a decorator phase - it's "bang on trend" to have recycled stuff in your house.

Recycled clothing. Which brings me to this challenge and recycled clothing. Is buying second hand just a phase? Is it even a phase? In blog #41 we talked about Not Quite New Clothing and how there are many options available if one wishes to add 'new' items to one's wardrobe, but doesn't wish to purchase new. There's a 4th options -- clothing exchanges -- which I'll talk about in a separate post coming up. For now, I'd like to take a moment to consider what recycled clothing really means. Have a squiz at the photo I found to accompany this post -- now that's recycled clothing for you! Who thinks of these things, I wonder? What an inventive thing to do -- literally turning clothing into a rug. Anyway, back to recycled clothing. It's not a trend, or if it is, we're all missing the point. Right?