I came across some interesting posts this week on the subject of past shopping habits and how to be a more ethical shopper. First, I found Zoe's post about her shoe prohibition and from there I found Hayley's post on over consumption. Since I learned to sew last year, my shopping habits have been very different. I've realized that I get so much satisfaction from making something I can wear rather than buying it and I've been reevaluating my past shopping experiences. I am an artist and have always enjoyed making things so I should have known this earlier. I have a terrible history with being an impulsive consumer when it comes to clothes and shoes (and debt to prove it). So, I'm turning over a new leaf. I've decided that I am not buying any clothing at a mass retail store for the next year. Bye bye, Belk! Sayonara, Steinmart! Adios, Ann Taylor! "K"atch ya later, Kohls! (couldn't help myself)
If I come across any sort of clothing that I have to have (which oftentimes is not because I actually need it) I will try my best to make it. Do it yourself- that's my mantra. My reasons for doing this are not as altruistic as they sound. I really consider it a little more self-indulgent because of the satisfaction I get from making things, but I do feel that this will not only benefit me but other people as well. Now I know that in Hayley's post she writes about not forcing yourself to do something because then it becomes a constant inner struggle, but I feel like this has been in the works for a while. I've grown up having art in my life and wanting to be an artist and the desire to make things has always been a part of me. The main thing I love about sewing is that it is truly a utilitarian art- an incredible skill. I mean, my husband sewed a 16ft tipi, for goodness sakes! Talk about being self-sustainable---you can sew your own shelter! So, this is the point I'm at right now. I could delve in to this subject further, especially when it comes to making art, but I'll save more for another time.
I am making a pledge to stop being a mindless shopper and to try and make things myself because making things makes me happy. I'm rounding up to August 1st since it's so close, so until August 1st, 2011, I will not purchase anything at any mass retail store. If I can't make it, I will find someone who can and who makes it by hand. I took The Handmade Pledge as well.
I'm looking forward to this year. I'm exciting about all the new things I will learn. I'm sure it will be difficult at times and there will be circumstances that I wish I could buy something, but the satisfaction of doing it myself is worth more. I'm including a picture of my new yellow skirt in this post not because it is the most spectacular thing I've sewn, but because it is my first achievement in this arena. It's made from a pair of yellow pants that I bought on an impulse two years ago and wore once. I think I'll get a lot more use out of it now!