Spending thoughts

Monday, July 03, 2017


Signing up to the Fast Fashion Fast has put a spotlight my spending habits, so I decided to note down any thoughts I had on clothing purchases. These are from the last few weeks.

Having signed up to the challenge, I immediately failed and purchased some hosiery. I was going out for a meal that evening and realised I had no flesh coloured tights, and the occasion and venue called for tights, so I had no choice but to make a last minute dash to Asda to pick up a pack of two for £4.00.

Later I looked at the Falke website, having heard that they are the best for good quality hosiery. I found what I was looking for, for £18.00. At first glance that sounded like an awful lot of money for tights, especially when you consider the £5.90 delivery charge. But if they really do last as long as they say they do maybe it's not so much. I could always search around for a stockist with cheaper postage. Would these tights last as long as 4.5 packs of my Asda tights? It's worth further consideration.

I went to Felixstowe to return an item and thought about popping in New Look, to have a look at their summer tops. Then I remembered signing up to Fast Fashion Fast and kept walking. I have plenty of summer tops anyway.

My summer slippers became uncomfortable. I purchased them last year from Asda and they've been worn a lot, but the soles had compacted and the bit between the toes had started to niggle, instead of buying another pair, I'm wearing my flip flops instead. Admittedly, and I totally see the irony here, these flip flops are a recent Primark purchase, 90p, chucked mindlessly into my basket as I made my way to the till point.

Then I fancied a gingham top to go with my new skirt. I looked on ebay and found one I really liked and won it, and I'll be able to wear it with a number of things already in my wardrobe. I've noticed that when I make an impulse purchase, like my green skirt, I invariably end up buying something else to wear it with.

This top was to wear with my green skirt, I didn't need it another skirt but I really, really, wanted it. I know I'll wear it a lot, and I feel that the more options I have the more I'll wear it, but how many options do I really need? I've always said there is absolutely nothing wrong with being seen in the same outfit over and over again.

I also wanted a plain black top to go with my green skirt - I thought about making one. So far I haven't acted on this. I do fancy making something but I really should do something about my mend pile instead, to make unwearable items wearable again.

I want a floaty summer maxi or midi dress - again I could make one but I don't really need it. I already have a maxi I like, why buy another?

The heatwave made me want some cooler PJs bottoms, I pondered something 3/4 length in a thin cotton fabric. In the end I found some pyjama shorts I forgotten all about. I don't like to sleep naked - what if there's a fire? or an intruder?

The hot weather also had me hankering after some non padded, non underwired bras. Nobody likes sweaty boobs. I looked into ethical underwear brands, and although I admit the search was hardly exhaustive (five minutes Googling), I came up with nothing. If you know of any, do let me know.

I wondered if underwear specialists M&S counted as fast fashion? I'd had it in my mind that, to make things easy, I wouldn't do any high street shopping at all during the Fast Fashion Fast, but not all high street shops fall under the umbrella of fast fashion.

Wouldn't it be great if there was a list... *Googles it* ... there is! On Wikipedia, it's not an exhaustive list I'm sure, but it helps. M&S isn't on it, but most of the shops I frequent on the high street are - H&M, Next, New Look.

It's clear that sometimes I shop for the sake of it, mindlessly. Sometimes I could avoid making a purchase by using something else from my wardrobe, but mostly it's made me really think about the high street and how to tell a fast fashion retailer from a non fast fashion retailer. Some are easy to spot - Primark, Peacocks, Matalan, but I was surprised to see Next listed as fast fashion for example.

Is the criteria absolute or are we to decide for ourselves? What high street shops do you consider not to be fast fashion? Are there any shops that you absolutely won't set foot in?

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8 comments

  1. This challenge is making you think about what you buy and your spending habits, if nothing else, which can only be a good thing. It's so easy to shop on impulse and never wear the thing you've bought. I tend to stay away from Primark, it's always packed and it's like a jumble sale in there with clothes just dumped on tables which you have to sort through to find what you're looking for. I don't know if it's just the Primark here or if they're all like this. Both Daniel and Eleanor shop there, and I have to say that lots of the items Eleanor's bought haven't lasted two minutes before they've unravelled, snapped or torn, though I don't suppose you're paying much for them so I suppose it's just to be expected.

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    1. My local Primark is normally quite tidy, but I do try to stay away. I have some long sleeve tops from there and they last really well, unlike a lot of their other offerings, but I'd rather shop elsewhere. I've been looking into the ethical and sustainability statements on the H&M website today and they seem to have a good transparent policy. I'd feel happy to shop there again once the ban is over. Primark just seems to get such bad press.

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  2. Shopping can easily become a hobby, can't it? If anything this challenge is being really helpful in assessing how you spend your time and money and figuring out ways to add to your wardrobe by buying thoughtfully, shopping secondhand, making your own or simply doing without.
    Have you looked at La Redoute for bras? They seem to have a transparent ethical policy and if you can find one of their discount codes you might get a bargain (like I did with my holiday pants!)
    The last bra I bought from M&S lasted me 10 years (although I don't wear them that often). After a bit of a blip last year when it was discovered that one of their factories was using child labour they've since promised to visit their manufacturing premises more regularly. When I bought a bra there a few months ago I did see a sign reinforcing that statement. xxx

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    1. It really can, especially when I'm putting my seasonal capsules together, I get into a 'what else do I need?' mindset. It has been interesting so far, as has stopped me spending to a certain extent, so mission accomplished I guess. I like that I can still buy second hand as total spending bans never work for me!
      I hadn't thought of La Redoute, thanks I'll give them a look. I shopped with them ages ago but some how forgot about them.
      I do find it hard to see M&S as a fast fashion retailer, I think I'd be happy to shop there during this challenge. I did have a look instore and they have some lovely bras, just not in my size, so I'll have to go via the internet.
      xx

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  3. I used to spend my lunch breaks browsing shops like H&M and New Look, and was tempted to spend many a time. Now I hardly visit any high street shops at all, except when shopping for underwear and hosiery. I do, by the way, think some of the higher price tights actually last longer (not sure about 4,5 x your Asda ones though), but I've never bought Falke tights, but rather Wolford. I do most of my clothes shopping second hand, but with three great shops within minutes from my office, I tend to treat them like I did with H&M Etc., and still spend more than I like on impulse buys, so maybe they do count as fast fashion too? xxx

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    1. Underwear, hosiery, and footwear are things I will always buy new, I would buy footwear pre-loved I just don't find shoes very often.
      I'll look into Wolford tights, I pick them up in Asda because it's convenient and usually last minute!
      I'd never thought about the idea of pre-loved being considered fast fashion. I think because it's not made to satisfy demand, and it's not seen as disposable by the likes of you and me, it has much less of an impact on garment workers, and doesn't tend to end up in land fill. I think that people who buy pre-loved are more likely to donate items back to charity instead of throwing them in the bin too, so whilst it is readily available on the high street, the impact is far less than the pile em high, sell em shops.

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  4. This was SUCH an interesting read! I definitely think shopping has become a habit (which is why I make myself give it up for Lent!) . I get guilty and then get sucked back in. Funnily enough, bras are something that I wear for a long, long time before changing them. I did buy four wire-free bras from M&S recently and I think they are brilliant- so comfy and I know I will wear them for years!
    I have been recently feeling guilty about tights. I have a wicker bag full of them in all colours and patterns and I barely wore them last Winter as I preferred leggings but I doubt anyone would want my old tights (even if some of them have only been worn once or twice!) so they are a guilty large item in my cupboard!
    x

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    1. I found it interesting to look at my habits. I don't think I buy too much, and I do tend to wear the things I buy but I do shop as a habit.
      I wear bras for ages too, I think you're meant to replace them every six months but I never do and I think it largely depends on how often you wash and wear them. I've always worn underwired t-shirt bras and I'm just a bit fed up with them. I bought a non wired bra earlier this year and it's so comfortable that I really fancy a few more. Sadly, the high street does not cater for my size. M&S have my size online so I think I'll be making a purchase soon.

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