Thursday, June 23, 2011

Throwing Down a Gauntlet

This gauntlet-throwing blog post begins with a confession, though it's not really a huge secret. I am a clothes horse. I love shopping. I love clothes. Even from an early age, I can remember enjoying the process of picking my outfits. In high school, my wardrobe was funky. My prized score was a tuxedo jacket with tails that I routinely wore with my favorite jeans and my CATS musical t-shirt. Standard issue for every high school drama geek.

I have bought, sold and given away probably enough clothes to adorn a small village in ... well, somewhere there are small villages of snappily dressed villagers. Lots of these clothes have been bought in the mainstream large stores. Dillards, Target, The Limited, etc. Though I do shop at the Goodwill store and local stores, most of my wardrobe is still from the easy-to-obtain Big Boxes.

In the last year or so, I have become more aware of the impact that we as consumers can make on a local economy. I have talked and written in this blog about the idea of shopping small. As in small business (though I really don't like that term. I prefer independent businesses, which is what I shall call them.)

Recently, I read a blog post from a fellow Etsian which resonated with me and my desire to not only support local clothing boutiques but also following a movement of reusing and recycling. We live in a world of disposable clothes. Things purchased at Wal-mart or Target might be cute, or cheap, but ultimately, they don't last. Even the higher end stores like Dillards and Macy's stock items mass produced in China. A lot of our money is going to some large corporation.

My challenge to myself is this: I will only purchase clothing from an independent business OR from a second hand boutique or thrift store. Also allowed are yard sale finds or items sold by folks at work.

I have a feeling this will be tough. I love that new clothes smell. And I love the mall. But, I also love keeping my money in my own backyard. And I also love independent clothing stores that stock unusual items. I don't want to see myself coming and going. And you never know what you might find at the local thrift store!

The one caveat to this is underwear and socks. There are some thing you want to buy new. However, I will find a local store that sells undies.

This challenge will begin with me. While I would like to get my children to do this too, I think the better example would be to encourage them and then let them see me, and follow suit if they want. My daughter is going into middle school.. so, yeah.. good luck with that.

I am excited about the prospect and hope to discover some nifty things along the way. And I will share my progress as it applies. I am throwing down the gauntlet to myself... but only if it's second-hand.

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