Save the Future – wear less clothing.

Could you go a month or even a year only wearing 10 pieces of clothing? Well I’m going to try for just under a month. I am heading to Australia today for a holiday until the beginning of February and have packed 10 items of clothing to last me for the whole trip (not including underwear, swimmers and running gear. I am taking 3 pairs of shoes, one of which is a pair of runners). I am only taking carry on and my bag weighs 6.4kg. For some of you this may seem totally doable but for others it could be regarded as bit of a challenge especially considering I have my best friends wedding and my engagement party to attend during my holiday.

 Why am I doing this?

I buy too much and I want to change my consumer habits. In order to change these habits I need to change my behaviours and attitude to things I consume and clothing makes up a big part. As with the Winter B-icicle Challenge I want to walk the talk of sustainable living.

There was one statistic I heard at a recent Greennovate event relating to consumer behaviour that shocked me – Over a 5 year period we will throw out approximately 85% of all purchases. The Ethical Fashion Forum based in the UK says:

 UK consumers send 30kg of clothing and textiles per capita to landfill each year and that 1.2 million tonnes of clothing went to landfill in 2005 in the UK alone.

This level of consumption is alarming and so unsustainable it’s just not funny.

Recently the designers over at We Are Ultra have inspired me to rethink how I wear my clothes and how many items I actually need in my wardrobe. Ultra produce beautiful clothes made from approximately 75% recycled and organic materials. It is becoming more and more clear to me that you don’t have to have a full wardrobe to dress well and look good. Basically I need to buy less but at the same time buy clothes that are good quality items that will last. I need to get smarter with my purchases.

So below are my 10 items I will be wearing for January. I have chosen them based mainly on their comfort and suitability for the climate. All the items can be worn with each other to make different outfits.

You never know I might just find 10 items is too much.

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15 Responses to Save the Future – wear less clothing.
  1. Bonnie Koenig

    Go for it! And hopefully you will inspire others to ‘go light’ as well. And congratulations on your engagement!

  2. Emily

    Thanks Bonnie. Im just starting to realise how much easier it is to ‘go light’. You have more room, less hassle and so much easier to get dressed! 

  3. Emily

    Thanks Bonnie. Im just starting to realise how much easier it is to ‘go light’. You have more room, less hassle and so much easier to get dressed! 

  4. Weh Yeoh

    This is a great idea. It is more difficult for women I think to get away with wearing the same stuff over and over – whereas with guys, people just tend to laugh at you and then get over it. So – I applaud your efforts!

  5. Hayley May Ward

    This is really cool, Emily. You’re an inspiration! It would be interesting to hear more about second-hand clothing in China. In the whole time I lived there I only ever found one vintage clothing store – up a back alley in Kunming. I wonder what the average Beijingren does with their old clothes? I don’t ever remember seeing charity bins anywhere. Hope you have a lovely refreshing break in Australia! x 

  6. Emily

    Actually  er shou clothing is getting more and more popular in Beijing. There are three second hand vintage clothing stores on gulou right near my house. Andy’s jumpers are testament to this :) But you are right I havent seen any clothing bins anywhere. There is a massive market where you can buy second hand clothes by the tonne that my other friends know about. A lot of the vintage stuff comes from Japan and Korea or from else where around the world. hopefully this trend is on the up!

  7. twitanita

    Nice! Enjoy your time in your 10 Emily. Us at ULTRA wish you the best! And we can’t wait to meet you :D

  8. [...] my Lane Change partner and fellow greenie Emily D’Ath: Could you go a month or even a year only we...
  9. [...] while travelling back to Australia for a holiday I set myself a little challenge to only take 10 items o...
  10. Lauren

    It was pretty hilarious to run into you at Sydney Int’l Airport whilst I reorganised my bags, struggled to close my suitcase and thought about you enjoying the lightness of travelling with 10 items only… After a recent 5 day trip travelling light to Beijing, I can’t wait to ‘wear less clothing’ on my next journey out of Shanghai. Thank you!

  11. [...] Could you take a major trip with only ten garments in your case? Save the future: wear less clothing. [....
  12. Altagracia Birkenholz

    Physically, clothing serves many purposes: it can serve as protection from the elements, and can enhance safety during hazardous activities such as hiking and cooking. It protects the wearer from rough surfaces, rash-causing plants, insect bites, splinters, thorns and prickles by providing a barrier between the skin and the environment. Clothes can insulate against cold or hot conditions. Further, they can provide a hygienic barrier, keeping infectious and toxic materials away from the body. Clothing also provides protection from harmful UV radiation.-

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