Saturday, 28 December 2013

My Christmas and The High Cost of Cheap Clothing and Gifts

Christmas is over - I hope you had a good one.  We had a lovely, quiet Christmas eve, with just the six of us, and then Christmas day at my son's  house with his girlfriend and her family. 

My family
Presents were subdued - due as much to finances as to my minimalist, vintage, greenness - science kits for the kids, handmade rose hair-clips, books and quirky T-shirts. I like T-shirts as gifts because they can be worn as pjs if the wearer doesn't like them, or get worn out, and then can be re-purposed into other things.  They have to be quality T-shirts though, not the sort that cost $3 at K-mart and ball or stretch after a couple of washes. I got mine online at Redbubble.

Obviously I love vintage (and thrifted) clothing, and one of the reasons is it's green - I am not directly contributing to pesticides with cotton farming, or wearing new toxic fabrics like polyester and acrylic.  I shop at thrift shops a lot, and get most of my non-vintage clothes from them. I even get most of my sewing fabrics and notions from thrift stores. 

Thrifted Bar-b-que, a father's day present
I know many of us think that we are doing well in clearing out our wardrobes and donating to thrift shops, but we must also remember that there is no way that the thrift stores can use all the clothes they are given.  When I was working at the Salvation Army store we cleared out certain color tagged clothing each week that had not sold and they were bagged up to send overseas.  Cotton clothing was also shredded for rags.  You can read more about what happens to all our donated clothing here, in a excerpt from the book 'Overdressed: the Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion'. 

Of course Christmas is not a great holiday for the environment in this day and age.  Not only are there cheap clothing options, there are cheap toys (sometimes made in Chinese gulags) and all the paper used for cards and wrapping (which uses around 100,000 trees), as well as bows and other trimmings.

My thrifted tree - $8
This year my cards, some gifts and wrapping, tree and baubles were thrifted, and next year I will try and be even more environmentally conscious and try different wrapping solutions.  I have used tea towels in the past, and newspaper, but I also like the Japanese idea of Furoshiki, which I will try and practice during the year at birthdays.

What were some of the vintage/thrifted/green ideas you used for Christmas this year?

Deb xx

1 comment:

  1. What a sweet family! I'm sure they've grown leaps and bounds by now, though!


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