I was shamefully reminded again this week of my wanton ways. It’s that time of year when many Boomers are cleaning out our closets and trooping off to Goodwill or the consignment store with green garbage bags full of our mistakes. We try to justify our shopping follies with excuses like “as soon as I lose ten pounds it’ll look great” or “but I paid so much I hate to just get rid of it”? Some of the things have never even been worn. Perhaps they were on sale and we couldn’t resist or those shoes just reached out and made us buy them. Every time I’m tempted to drop my credit card on the counter for another white blouse or black jacket, I force myself to walk away, go home and reconsider the purchase. Usually, common sense wins out and I forgo the purchase. But not always.
After slugging that giant green garbage out of the back of my car at Goodwill the other day and dropping off an armload of clothes at the consignment store, I came home and found even more things for “recycling”. So, if you see pictures on television of a woman in some third world country wearing that pink animal print sweater with sequins around the neck that once hung in my closet, I will feel vindicated. Our sins aren’t without an upside. Someone’s benefiting from my mistakes.
Growing up in a home built in the 1880’s with no closets whatsoever, my entire wardrobe as a teenager hung on three hooks on the back of my bedroom door. Is it because we managed with so little back then that we’re so voracious for fashion acquisition now? After all, nothing makes an old woman feel better than a new pair of biker boots. In fact, our entire economy would collapse and malls wouldn’t exist if we weren’t so profligate with our fashion dollars. And recycling of clothing has created an entire industry that benefits others. So, the logical conclusion is we have to keep shopping so we can support the economy, clothe women in the third world, supply an entire industry of charity shops with our donations and provide others with cost-effective, barely-worn fashion and accessories. How can that be anything but a good thing?