Saturday, February 12, 2011
(Make it do or Do without)
When is the last time you wore out a piece of clothing (the occasional pit-stained T-shirt aside)?
I remember wearing my favorite jeans until they had holes or ripped, but that was a long time ago.
Then I got into the habit of buying more than I need, and would buy new nice things before the old ones were even close to having to be retired of their service.
Until yesterday. I noticed my favorite black stretchy skinny linen-mix pants had several small holes forming in the creases of the inner thigh area. I'd worn them a lot, every week, sometimes many days in a row. They are not old, I bought them in the beginning of the fall season. They are also good quality, I just wore them and washed them so much. I'd wished they had lasted longer, but this just tells me something about how unused most of my clothes have gone in the past, that I have had them for years and then taken them to a charity shop still in good condition.
Then right after the black pants I noticed two small holes at the knee of my blueberry blue leggings, also bought around the same time early last fall.
It was actually a bit strange feeling, almost like an accomplishment. And I regretted a little of not buying a new pair of the black pants, but I hadn't noticed they were starting to disintegrate, and I didn't want to get another pair "on reserve" -that would be so against my minimalist practices, and something I might have previously done, but not anymore.
I realize how nice it is to actually use what you have, and only have what you use. Even with the annoyance of losing my favorite pair of pants, I realize that it is freeing to be rid of the scarcity mentality - the fear of running out, thus buying spares, extras and reserves. There is always going to be more. In fact, my favorite shop where I bought the pants, usually has very similar models season after season, and they now have the same pants but with buttons at the ankles.
I'm still going to get some wear out of the black pants. I can wear them under a tunic, and the holes are not big yet so they wouldn't really show anyway. Still, I don't want to find myself with ripped pants in the middle of the winter, so I'll wear them with tunic to be safe (and covered, should they fall apart on me). I'll replace them eventually. The leggings will be worn as long underpants (yes, we really need those here!) and perhaps at home.
Having less things, which you take care of and appreciate, and use up, feels somehow substantial and grounding. I really wish we could all simplify our lives a little bit, stop wasting money and resources, and wasting away our integrity at the consumerist altar.
Image from dwell.com