I like to play around with restrictions. We have so much today. It gives a lot of insight to take things out. One restriction I made up for myself last year was to not buy any clothes or shoes. Here are are some quick words about it:
I started with this idea because I realised my closet is actually full of stuff (20+ T-Shirts) and I have everything I need. Mostly we do not buy things out of necessity but just because we want new clothes. Everyone that has eastern German grandparents like me knows that you can use the same clothes for 30+ years. Most of the time we buy a article of clothing there is no real need for it. Last year I received four T-Shirts as gifts, so even without buying anything I ended up with more stuff. I also made two shirts myself for the enjoyment I get from making things.
With the shoes I failed. After 11 months, winter came and all my shoes had holes or were not suitable for freezing temperatures and snow. This was due to the heavy wear my shoes have to deal with from the training on concrete. I had a few pairs that I could still use in the warmer months, but not in the winter. The shoes (flat sole, wide toe box) that I bought are from a german company that also offers repairing and resoling services. They are of high quality, so I will probably have these shoes for a few years compared to the 10-12 months that the shoes from other minimal/barefoot shoe companies last me. Time will tell. It is a huge pity that most shoes companies care much more about selling lots of shoes than they care about maintaining and repairing. Making a new line of shoes every 3 months. That’s why many of the people training movement just buy the 20€ Chinese martial art shoes every few months. I don’t like the fit of these shoes and also feel weird about buying a shoe for 20€. Someone always pays the price difference between the cheap and the normal priced and it’s not you standing at the check-out. It’s hard to get quality that can withstand the heavy wear that we put on the shoes.
I almost failed with the clothes as well at month 11. This too was because of the training, as I had ripped open four of my training pants and it became very cold outside. I was thinking of buying a new pair of pants, but didn’t want to fail in my commitment. On the other hand I was almost without pants. Fortunately I found a good tailor that repaired all the pants so perfectly that I think I will be able to wear them at least one more year, probably even longer. Also it cost very little. I had to admit that I was actually not aware of how well you can repair a pair of pants, so that even I can use them again for the heaving training and sliding on concrete. To maintain and to repair makes me very happy. We need to remember this old virtue in a time where society is based on throwing away and buying new.
I finished my challenge and bought a new piece of clothing after around 14 months, carefully choosing like I do for many years now to make sure it lasts long: durable, usable in all parts of my life, timeless design, practical for all sorts of movements. Plus the company I buy from needs to have proper ethical standards and the clothes have to be of organic fiber made without toxins. Buy less. Maintain and repair more.
Super End Note:
- People sponsored by a clothing brand lose almost all their credibility in an instant.
Joseph Bartz 2017