Thrift Shopping for the Environment

Sometime ago, I was thrift shopping for clothes. I’d watched the documentary “The True Cost,” and as anyone would, I’d become enlightened to the sheer waste caused by fast fashion garment companies. And along with this I was aware of how little I need to truly feel happy, and, well, clothed. I can confidently state that there are enough synthetic materials in my wardrobe that I’d have to live well past 150 to need clothes for practical reasons; to stay warm and covered.

So then it’s just all a whim, some fashion thing, a need to be accepted by a bunch of people.

So then me, with this disgustingly “broken” desire, happily dragged myself to the thrift shop where I assumed to be the only person shopping for the environment among a bunch of “poor” others. And I’ll admit it, many of the people there were shabbily dressed, a little weathered looking, just unhappy, you know? Others WERE happy, but they were immigrants, new ones, clearly.

So I felt, different. Until I ran into this woman and her child who gave me the most cutting look. She looked at me as if I were made of garbage. And I realized she was there for the same reason I was… to shop for the environment—what an oxymoron. Except she didn’t realize we were somehow related in our shared desire to do good. We walked out at the same time too, and I saw her strutting to her Benz SUV, another oxymoron.

There’s this book I read a long time ago called The Beauty Experiment. I actually preordered it (if I remember correctly) and let me tell you it wasn’t worth the purchase price but it was still eye-opening because it made me realize that absolutely NOTHING happened in this person’s life by virtue of forgoing makeup and fashion.

You can find it here

Of course, she was the married stay-at-home mom of a toddler living in Japan, a foreign country where I assume that visceral need to impress would go down (not our “group”). So the experiment would have been a lot more revelatory and significant if this woman had been someone who had more at stake in not adorning her “social” physical body. Would she have gone on as many dates? Would she have failed in finding a partner? Would she have lost friends or despaired about not having anything to wear to a bunch of parties and work functions? Would she have struggled to find a job? How large was her wardrobe to begin with?

So maybe I should re-write this book and let you know what happens in a year of not wearing makeup or buying clothes?


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