Another year has turned. Happy New Year! This is year three of blog-keeping. The first two years I repeated the same “new year’s message” about the benefits of biking to work, but this year I will not be biking to work because I am on sabbatical. Perhaps a good substitute would be to write about my other obsession when it comes to attempting to live more simply—clothes. It will now be 15 years of buying used clothing. Of course as with any other such “resolution” there are exceptions to the rule in order to make it more possible. I do buy new socks and underwear, an occasional souvenir T-shirt, and good rain gear for my bike rides. I even bought a new pair of boots/winter shoes last week with some Christmas money I received. Why do I buy primarily used clothing?
- The clothes industry is infamous for “sweatshops” and unjust practices. This way I am not supporting any brand name or putting more clothes into a gluttonous market.
- The money I spend on clothes goes to support the work of MCC or other local charities.
- It reduces the amount of money I spend on myself and leaves more for investing in relationships.
- My taste in clothes is simple [black jeans and dark collarless shirts] so it’s relatively easy.
- It makes clothes shopping more enjoyable.
- My clothes are broken in, supple, and comfortable to wear.
- “Second Hand Pants” are my favorite band.
- It’s one small symbolic way of unplugging from the consumerist machine.
- It’s one small way of attempting to follow the way of Jesus which I think includes trying to live simply and justly.
And speaking of clothes, the book I am writing on sabbatical will have the working title, “Spirituality with Clothes On.” Briefly, the title is a clever response to a number of recent books with “naked” in the title where authors try to get at the pure essence of something. My book will examine some of the things [clothes] that give shape to who we are and become: personality, family, development, culture, history, etc. I’ll blog more about this as the year and the project progresses.
I hope you have a great year whatever you’re wearing!