Most of us probably buy too much stuff. When we think of reducing our disposable approach to consumerism, we might think of buying better gadgets or tools. News site Quartz suggests that your clothes are a big area in which we should buy fewer but higher-quality items. Picture: Kent Wang/Flickr
Clothes inevitably wear out, get old and have to be replaced. However, higher quality materials will last longer than a closet full of cheap T-shirts that will wear out in six months. As Quartz explains:
One option is to reconsider our approach to clothing by taking a cue from Europeans who have historically been more more focused on quality rather than quantity. Much of the cheap clothing we consume in droves is like our fast food diets — high in calories (quantity) but low in nutrition (quality). We are a culture that buys a lot of junk. Think about your own wardrobe — consider how many items of clothing you own and how often you wear each of those items. My guess is that most of us wear about 20% of our clothing 80% of the time. That is a lot of wasted space and wasted money.
The average American household has a median annual income of approximately $US50,000. If it spends 3% of their income on clothing, they will have $US1,500 a year, or $US125 per month to spend. Instead of buying five fast-fashion, low-quality items costing $US25 each, they could invest in one or two quality items at a higher price point ($125 or $US63 respectively).
Of course, expensive clothes and long-lasting clothes are not mutually exclusive. You can make any clothing last longer by taking care of it properly. However, when it comes time to buy clothing, it's worth asking yourself: how soon do you really want to be back in this store?