Day 3: Ownership vs usership & the costs involved.
Yesterday we introduced the concept of usership as a fresh way to engage with your clothes. Usership depends on knowing the value an item of clothing adds to your wardrobe and your life.
Consider for a moment how you might rank your clothes according to their value. Not what they cost, but what they mean to you. The value might be practical or emotional. It might be attached to a memory or a dream. Or it might simply be an item of clothing that came your way with little real choice on your part. What few items add the most value to your life? What adds the least? You might find it difficult to compare the value of something sentimental to something practical but give it a go if you can. If you can't, no worries ~ we'll come back to it later...
Now consider the cost of maintaining each of those items. According to Kate Fletcher in The Guardian (4 April 2014) 'What happens after we have bought a garment is often the source of most [of the] environmental impact in that garment's life...the energy needed to launder most garments dwarfs that required to make them.'
It's true that buying more clothes than we need is cause for concern. But clearly maintaining clothes is not without consequence. When we maintain clothes that don't add value to our life, the cost seems even higher.
Are there any clothes you can part with right now?
Great! We suggest popping them aside in a bag for the moment. We'll come back to them later.