How To Look After Yourself

By Joanne Elston, posted 08/06/21

Our Swapshop Coordinator needs to get something off her chest

Have you ever had a meltdown over buying pants? Spent two weeks solidly trying to research which are the most environmentally friendly, ethically sound pair of pants to buy? Realised that the perfect option doesn’t exist and wondered how hard it would be to make your own from an old t-shirt? I have (I even have a sewing pattern and all of the pieces cut out), and from the conversations I have had with other people, it sounds like I am not the only one.

Sustainable Fashion is another area in which we, as the consumers, can often end up feeling all of the guilt and responsibility for making the right choice. While it is true that we can make changes and conscious decisions about what we do and don’t want to buy, we can also only choose from the options that are available to us. It should not be our responsibility to magically create the perfect pair of comfortable, well fitting recycled cotton pants from thin air for ourselves to buy for an actually affordable price. That responsibility should be for the companies who are making clothes.

Spending anything more than 2 days trying to find the perfect pair of pants probably means that you are already very environmentally conscious and are making enough changes in other areas of your life to let yourself off with the occasional less than perfect pants purchase. If everyone on the planet was only buying a few new pairs of pants each year, we would be in a completely different, much more manageable situation in terms of textile waste and recycling. Instead of beating yourself up over the things you haven’t quite found the perfect solution for yet, why not think about all of the things you are doing right? Many of the people who come into our shop now buy almost exclusively second hand,that is an amazing thing to be doing and we should be celebrating that rather than always feeling bad for not having made it that final 2% to the perfect zero waste lifestyle.

P.S If there is anyone out there who does in fact know of the perfect pair of pants, please get in touch, I know many people who are all waiting for this information!

SHRUB Coop is supported through a combination of grant funding and generous donations from our community. We’re grateful for all their support. Find out more about our grant funders by clicking on the logos above.