Less is more: Reducing our consumption

Most of us have more clothes than we really need. Much of what we own, we hardly ever use, and then we still stand in front of our overflowing closets, complaining of having nothing to wear!

How does this happen?

Firstly, advertising has evolved into a science, targeting human emotions, instincts, insecurities, and aspirations with pin-point precision. Most of us are unaware how our buttons are being pushed by advertisements promising us beauty, happiness, status and what-not, if only we have certain possessions. It is very hard to resist.

Message: In the right clothing, you will be popular and have lots of fun

Secondly, the fashion calendar has become a mad carousel of pre-fall, autumn/winter, resort, spring/summer, fuelling the ability of the fast fashion industry to drop new styles on us every 10 to 14 days. The effect is that your β€œnew” winter jacket is the latest thing only for about two weeks, no longer a whole season.

Thirdly, manufacture in countries with cheap labour has brought the consumer price of clothing down by so much that everyone can afford buying more.

All of this combine to make us indiscriminate shoppers. We buy clothing because it is available and promises to fulfil psychological needs, not because it is needed, of good quality, or exceptional in some way. We value our clothing less, and so dispose of it more easily.

The way to counter this, in the words of Vivienne Westwood, is to β€œBuy less, choose well, make it last.”

Instead of buying three inexpensive jackets from low quality fabric, with suspect craftsmanship that will no longer look their best after a launder or two, rather save up to buy one classic garment that is absolutely the best you can afford. Make sure that the textile is high quality and the colour and fit perfect for you, as opposed to being simply the latest fad. You will cherish that item for years to come, always feeling good when you wear it because you know its value. You will also not tire of it, as over time different ways of accessorizing it will occur to you, making it a canvas for your creativity. A good basic garment can be dressed up or down to suit the occasion.










Kate Middleton wearing the same navy blazer both formally and informally

Even more ways with a navy blazer

Added to this, you will probably end up supporting local designers and manufacturers, impacting positively on the carbon footprint of your closet. Double whammy!