High Street Shopping Ban



Image by Aiko Fukawa

Today I want to talk to you about quite a serious, challenging yet fun journey I've been going through since December. Last Winter I set myself the challenge of buying no clothes, shoes or accessories from the high street. The rules were set, I can buy things from second hand shops, Ebay ( as long as the item was pre worn) and independent shops. Nothing could come from high street chains which meant giving up all my favourites like Zara, H&M, COS and Monki to name a few.

In the past six months I have failed only once. A bikini from Primark, and I still feel guilty about it. The reason behind this purchase was a simple "emergency". I had booked a spa day with a group of friends and all my swimwear is kept at my family holiday home in Turkey (note - that may sound glamorous but my average spend per month on clothes etc is less than a fiver) I never need bikinis here in London, boy was I wrong.

The reason behind this ban stems from many ideas and beliefs. It is totally not ok to support any form of sweatshop based labour that 90% of our favourite shops and labels use to manufacture our clothing. It is not ok to ignore our local charity, second hand and independent shops. It is also not ok to have clothes that you don't even wear. Most of us have wasteful and expensive shopping addictions and I wanted to challenge that.

I have quite a lot of clothes, not a huge amount but still what most people would call a "good" amount, so why would I need to buy more? Over the years I have culled unnecessary items and I now have a wardrobe that I love and treasure, its also stylishly simple enough to last for years.

When I've been desperate to have something new I've asked my mum if she has anything similar to the item I'm looking for. I recently scored an  amazing pair of 90's mom jeans and a wool jacket. If I'm in a dilemma I will ask friend if I can borrow something for a night out or an event. All in all it's gone pretty well, there has been one huge disaster though. Last weekend Simon and I went to a gorgeous wedding of one of our friends, to cut a long story short I ended up with "nothing" to wear due to low self esteem. My brother came to the rescue and gifted me a dress.

Below is a visual list of what I have bought the past six months. I've also borrowed a few items and my family have also donated some great pieces too. When gathering the below images I was shocked to find what a little haul I've collected since December, I don't really miss shopping and that is extremely refreshing. Let's hope once the year is up I continue to be careful with my clothing money and shop wisely.

Striped square neck top by Petit Bateau bought from Hub, a shop near my flat

Striped J.Lindeberg top given to me by my friend James a few years ago. I thought I'd lost it forever until my brother confessed a few months ago that he had had it all along. 

Desert boots I scored in the sale at Hub, I love Hub its a great shop

Cream cardigan I bought from a wonderful woollens shop in the Lake District. I talked all about it in my Yorkshire Dales & Lake District Guide here

My Mum donated me some jeans similar to these Asos ones that she has had since the early 90's

Here is a photo showing the desert boots, cardi and my Mums old jeans

Second hand boots I bought for a bargain price on Ebay. You can still buy them now at Other Stories for £65

The dress my brother gave to me for the wedding. It was not bought from a high street shop so no rules were broken

A photo of Simon and I at the wedding. He wore a Folk suit if you're interested! 

7 comments

  1. I love those boots, that cardigan and those jeans. I also love an outfit that is entirely thrifted or shared. Your mum's jeans, that's brilliant. All my jeans, all of them, are second hand - and I have three pairs, one black, not unlike the ones in the Asos picture. Score! I also have desert boots (http://bit.ly/1kH5qLR) that I adore and get a zillion comments on when I wear them; mostly asking where I got them. Because I bought mine at an op shop, I have no idea where to send people for similar. And, I still have jumpers and knitted vests that were my mums. I wore a knitted cream cable vest to work this week and was asked a number of times where I got it. It's one of the nice things about hunting down thrift store and op shop items away from the high street, they're almost one of a kind.

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    1. I'm very lucky that I have a stylish mum! Plus borrowing or thrifting clothes just proves how much better the quality of clothes used to be before fast fashion. All your clothes sound great - keep it up!

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  2. These are really beautiful garments. You are looking beautiful in these dresses. Textile designers play an important role to give attractive look and designs in dresses.

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    Robert Green

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  3. You have such a lovely wardrobe.

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    1. Thank you so much, that makes me very happy :)

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