Friday, October 8, 2010

The Great American Apparel Diet

If you’re a true lover of reuse, I encourage you to go on a diet that you cannot fail. Promised glory!

You’re laughing right?

It’s The Great American Apparel Diet and it started on September 2, 2010. It’s a year-long pledge to forgo buying new apparel from the conventional retail market. (You have wiggle room with foundations and socks/tights).

To be honest, I’m embarrassed I just learned about it. I will swear that my pledge is retroactive to September 2nd and far beyond.

Here’s how they explain it:

“The Great American Apparel Diet, what is it? We are a group of women and two men who have decided to go on a diet of sorts. A fast really. We are completely eliminating “new apparel” from our diets for one year. Yes, the next time you see us sporting new tags it will be Sept. 2, 2011. Sound easy? Well think again. This is going to be a stretch for most of us. You see, like most women we are attached to our wardrobes in some form or another. In fact buying a new something-or-other is as natural as a dark chocolate pick-me-up. We all have our reasons for embarking on this project but it all gets down to this…who are we without something hip and new in our closets? We shall see.”

Visit the site, The Great American Apparel Diet. If you are not a full convert of thrift, I understand some reluctance. At least review the site, there is a very funny support group in constant discussion. If you just try, I promise it will change the way you think.

To be clear. This is not anti-retail. This is smart and resourceful retail. Think of all the items that go unneeded and unused in homes across America. If they were tossed into the market, our shopping would be stronger and a bit more economically sustainable. The retail market at large could easily be a salt and peppered mix of new and reuse. If we were to significantly up the percentage of reused product in the market, we'd be lowering the carbon foot print of our shopping. On this, please refer to an opinion I wrote some time ago for The Christian Science Monitor, "We count calories. Why not carbon?"

Join already! Either dive in or get those toes wet. Just try.