no new clothing challenge

(Image: Posh Girl Vintage)

I dare you to buy no new clothes for the next 3 months!

(GASP!) Is it possible? You can bet your bottom dollar it is. I buy just about all of my clothes from second-hand/vintage shops (except for the intimates, that is). I’ve scored lovely clothing items at swaps, too (read: free clothes!).

What inspired this dare? The Brooklyn Green Team – self-described as a team of Brooklyn superheroes dedicated to reducing our environmental impact and inspiring othershas started a new challenge to buy no new clothes. They didn’t give a time frame in their message (below), but if my memory serves me – and I have been eating my ginkgo nuts these days – their challenges last for 3 months. (Also see below several compelling reasons why one would want to eschew new clothes.)

How will I accomplish this 3-month marathon of nothing new? I can take some cues from The Uniform Project or Brown Dress and wear the same dress in different ways for many days. If I’m craving something “new” I can scour Etsy and ebay for retro duds, or seek out unique finds following Brooklyn Based’s timely post on Brooklyn’s bevy of vintage boutiques. I can also make or remake my clothes a la Threadbanger. Or I can just make do with what I’ve got – limitation leads to creativity!

So I’m taking the challenge to buy no new clothes for 3 months – won’t you join me?

From the Brooklyn Green Team…

We’re going old-school (is 3 years old school?) and digging in our closets to bring back our
No New Clothing Challenge!*
Join us in going vintage, thrift, recycled, hand-me-down or eco-friendly. Every single action has an impact in some way somewhere on this planet. Because of globalization, we are often disconnected from the impact of our everyday choices. For example, our new fall shirt might be made with cotton that requires 1/3 lb of chemicals to produce and manufactured in a pollution-emitting factory far away.

Let’s make a positive impact and equal the balance. Support local shops owned by locals that dig out wearable treasures from the past and present. This will make you more stylish because five other people aren’t wearing it to work. Unleash your inner fashionista, while helping the planet. Worried about bedbugs? Us too. Throw your clothes in a dryer right away to kill them off OR you could put them in the freezer for 2 weeks (really)!

More compelling reasons to do it:

  • The average American throws away about 68 pounds of clothing and textiles per year.
  • 10% of all agricultural chemicals and 25% of insecticides in the U.S. are used to grow cotton.
  • The materials used to make our attire are often environmentally toxic and require significant amounts of energy and water during the manufacturing process.
  • The 12 to 15 percent of people who shopped at consignment and thrift stores in 2006 saved 2.5 billion pounds of clothes from re-entering the waste stream.
  • The manufacturing of nylon emits nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas with a carbon footprint 310 times that of carbon dioxide.
  • According to the USDA, in one year alone over 50 million pounds of pesticides were used on U.S. cotton fields. Pesticide and fertilizer use on cotton has been linked to ground and surface water contamination, and the pollution of drinking water. In California, cotton ranks third in the state for total number of pesticide-related illness. Fish and wildlife and also impacted, with pesticides causing migration die-offs and diminished reproductive capacity.

For those of you living in the New York City area, we’ve attached a list of vintage and second-hand clothing stores in our area.

Resources:
Brooklyn is Vintage Store Mecca. Here are a few we know and like:

There are also clothing swaps:

Want to host a Clothing Swap? Rachel Avalon lays out the fundamentals in this video.

If you would like to join the Challenge, please email brooklyngreen@gmail.com
and say, “Yes! I’m ready to join the No New Clothing Challenge !”

Questions? Email us. (brooklyngreen@gmail.com)
Read our [blog] (http://brooklyngreenteam.blogspot.com/) for occasional updates and helpful bits of information.
Stay tuned for an invite to a challenge encouragement get-together…

You are all Super-Duper Heroes!
POW! YOU’VE BEEN GREENED!

*Challenge does not apply to underwear or environmentally friendly clothing. We think it’s only fair.

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2 Responses to “no new clothing challenge”

  1. change your underwear Says:

    […] If you’ve been reading this blog, you know that I’m doing Brooklyn Green Team’s No New Clothing Challenge – a 3-month new clothing fast. Not to brag, but it’s not too challenging for me. Buying […]

  2. Controlling My Shopaholism with a Clothing Fast Says:

    […] experiments. (I appreciate the posts on Becoming Minimalist, Julie Gumm, Jen Hatmaker, and Raganella.) They all sounded pretty extreme to me – but then I remembered how my family was trying hard to […]

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