This isn't just about fashion and I am publishing this post just before I launch my week of Christmas gift guides because it is all inter-linked and buzzing around my head even more as we are approaching Christmas. This year my sisters and I had a chat about changing how we buy for the eight cousins, our nieces and nephews, so they get less ... but more. A bigger budget but less gifts so we can buy them something more significant, something they actually need or an experience, something to create a memory.
I don't know about you but when my children were growing up I became increasingly frustrated with just how many plastic toys they had and how many they didn't actually play with. I love this photo of them both sitting inside a cardboard box having fun together. They can have as much fun in a box without the need for expensive toys. I am rather relieved looking back though that they grew up before iPad's and phones became a thing - and interestingly they both agree with me. And I really wanted to share this example too - the green tonka truck my great-nephew is playing with was originally my husbands and many of the cars too - all from nearly 50 years ago!
I read a blog post recently that was actually first published in 2012 and is titled The Gift of Death, it is worth a read. I recently met with Jo Hall who runs a decluttering business called Less is More and she wrote a blog post about Decluttered Gifting with some really good suggestions.
I watched the Stacey Dooley Investigates - Fashion's Dirty Secrets and felt shocked and pretty guilty for my contribution to the problem. Although not a lover of fast fashion as such I do still buy too much 'stuff' and I am pretty sure it ends up in landfill eventually. But the damage we are doing to our environment is shocking - and cotton and denim are the worst culprits! And yet we have always been led to believe that wearing natural fibres was better for us and the environment. It is something that has been on my mind for a while now but it became even more of a concern when I was in Sri Lanka - they have so little, we have so much, it seemed embarrassing - we really don't need it all! See my post here.
But giving and receiving gifts at Christmas and for Birthdays is special, it is one of life's pleasures and there is nothing better than choosing the perfect gift for someone you love. But what if you receive something you don't want or need? I think it was Marie Kondo that said it is okay to let it go - the gift represents something in that moment of giving - but if it not right for you then do not hang onto it and let it clutter up your house. Tough love?
Shopping my wardrobe
There is a hashtag on Instagram right now #shoppingmywardrobe and many of the bloggers I follow are talking about just that - shopping our wardrobes. It is hard though when we are bombarded with 'new' from every angle. Social media puts pressure on us to be perfect and we have to have the latest 'insta-dress' or whatever it is. I fall victim to pressure from social media all the time. However, I have not fallen into the trap of just posting on Instagram for the sake of it - my aim is not to sell to you - if you see something I am wearing and love it then great but often it might be that you love the way I have put an outfit together, maybe you have something similar in your wardrobe already and can style it a different way. Or maybe just a new scarf or a new accessory or a new pair of boots is all you need to change something up? It is probably why I will always mainly remain a 'hobby blogger' because as much as I love hearing from brands, I do need to be selective about what I choose, I will only ever work with a brand if I love what they do or I genuinely feel I can recommend them to my readers.
There is nothing wrong with buying new but let's just slow down and think about it a bit more, now we are armed with some knowledge about ethical fashion maybe we can make better choices if not all of the time, some of the time.
Below are some examples of items in my wardrobe that keep working hard for me ...
Gift guides and supporting small businesses
So that brings me back to Christmas and being more mindful of what we are buying and how we are gifting.
I have three gift guides to share with you this year. My focus is on supporting small businesses, particularly run by women. I have also tried to choose things that are useful, reusable and longer lasting. Or I have made suggestions for experiences, vouchers or making memories. I have also including stocking ideas for teenagers as I find that really hard but I think I have come up with some sensible - more ethical - ideas.
I will be publishing my gift guides next week.
And what are my plans to be more ethical and have less stuff?
Last year I did a No Spend February challenge, it was entirely personal, I didn't join a wider challenge on social media. I think I got over Christmas and was starting to realise that we do all have too much 'stuff' and this was a small way to think about reducing it. I blogged about it throughout the month and actually did really well. But of course once the month was over I reverted back to normal habits.
So what am I going to do to start to be more ethical, to have less 'stuff' and create a more timeless capsule wardrobe? My ultimate aim is to create less overwhelm and stress.
Well I have no idea really!!! I am working with Jo from Less is More and we have decluttered my son's room, the log cabin and storage so far. I am hoping to get what I do have under much better control first of all then address where my shopping habits need to change.
I don't want to become too obsessed but the ethical fashion debate alongside my own feeling of unease about having too much has spurred me on to consider my own actions and what I can do about it.
And who else is fed up with the Black Friday discount codes cluttering up your inbox!? I was in the shops earlier today and it was crazy busy, I couldn't wait to get home.
I would absolutely love to hear from you - what do you think? Are you changing your shopping habits? Does it worry you? Please comment below or email me!
Look out for my Christmas Gift Guides coming next week...
Christmas Gift Guide | Small Gifts for the Girls
Christmas Gift Guide | Stocking Fillers
Christmas Gift Guide | Vouchers and Gift Boxes
Welcome to Fifty & Fab, a lifestyle blog to inspire you. I am a blogger with a passion for writing about style, beauty, health and fitness with a focus on the over 50's. I am based in Marlow but work across London and the South East.
Hi, I’m Michelle and my blog Fifty & Fab is all about my journey into and through my fifties. I share style tips, health and fitness inspiration, I talk about my holidays and days out and I tell you about my beauty regime and my lifestyle. I hope you might pick up a tip or two and get some inspiration!
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