Let me just start out by thanking Courtney, the founder of Project 333, for linking to my blog! It is exciting to be able to share my experience and story with a larger audience.
Nearly 6 weeks into the second phase of Project 333, one of the biggest challenges has been the weather. I live in coastal central California where, much like Debbie who is doing her own Project 333 down in San Diego, spring and summer bring cool, foggy mornings and evenings. I think she calls it the "June gloom" which is pretty accurate. I work, however, 70 miles inland from my house where temperatures reach the low 90s at this time of year. Sleeveless garments are fairly useless in my home climate, but necessary to survive in the town where I work. So finding the right balance between sweaters and tank tops has been a challenge.
I have also been reading the book Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth Cline. Her book focuses on the hidden social and environmental cost of the cheap, stylish clothing that can be found at places like H&M and Zara. I already consider myself to be a conscious consumer, but Cline's book has really opened my eyes to the true impact of buying cheap and cheaply made clothes. Her work and research foreshadows the recent factory collapse in Bangladesh, detailing many of the ways cheap labor is exploited in developing third world countries.
I am only halfway through the book, but it has already changed how I approach shopping for clothes. Last week, one of the shirts I had purchased in for the project in April had a terrible accident involving myself and a chocolate bar. Let's just say it did not survive the cleanup effort. And add that I should not be eating chocolate while driving. The shirt, a coral short sleeved tee, is a staple in my 33 items and I wear it weekly, so I knew I had to replace it. As I looked from store to store for an ethical, good quality, affordable replacement garment I grew more and more frustrated. Either there was nothing in my size, or the color was wrong, or the garment wasn't ethically produced. Eventually I just went online and bought a significantly more expensive shirt than the original one, but I got exactly what I wanted. I scoured shops in town for 3 hours. I was online for 5 minutes. I'm not sure what this experience means for me in the long run except that I suspect I may be ordering a lot more clothes online rather than waste my time wandering around stores that don't offer the product I want (and plenty of tempting eye candy that I don't want). I also am willing to pay more for a quality item than to compromise on a mediocre garment, which was not true for me in the past.
Here's the list that shows my process of deciding what to keep:
- Items in bold are ones that I kept in my wardrobe from the first phase (January-March).
- Items that were removed after the project started are
crossed out, the reason noted, and the replacement item written in.
- I have added an asterisk (*) next to those items that were purchased new during this phase, as opposed to taken from my off-season storage box.
coral chandelier earringsbroke (silver hoop earrings) grey sheath dressnot comfortable for spring, save for fall (skull earrings*) silver filigree hoop earringstoo heavy (turquoise and coral hoop earrings*)
- abalone necklace
- sun hat
- turquoise scarf
- floral scarf
paper bead necklacepretty, but uncomfortable to wear (blue zip-up hooded sweatshirt*)
- skinny blue jeans
- tan cords
- black long skirt*
- dk blue denim skirt
denim jackettoo tight across the shoulders (striped tank top*)
- green ss tee*
- coral ss tee*
- lt grey ss tee*
- tan ss tee
- tan white stripe loose knit sweater*
- tan / multi loose knit sweater
- tan wool long sweater*
- tan cotton cardigan
coral cardiganneed different type of sweater (coral crop sweater*)
- navy cardigan
navy white scallop dressfabric doesn't wear well (Sessions jacket)
- black dress*
- denim tank dress
grey Converseworn out (light blue Converse)
- cork mary jane shoes
- black sandals
- black flip-flops
Thanks for taking the time to read my update. I hope to post again in a few weeks and report on how my choices are serving me as we head into summer!