Last week I blithely ended my column by saying that to be fashionably ethical what we need to do is to buy fewer clothes. Yeah right. I bet even the people we know who are not interested in clothes have more than they need. I am and I most certainly do. There is something intrinsically hardwired in us, in our craving for novelty, the buzz we feel when we buy a new outfit, the feel-good factor from a fantastic frock or very sexy jeans.
I asked Tony Juniper, ex-director of Friends of the Earth and Green Party candidate, how he believed we could protect the planet by consuming less when most of us want more. He said, “We need to study psychology and find out more about the brain. Deep within us we have an innate desire for comfort, for security and for status. We need to get to grips with this and start crafting alternatives that get the same brain reaction.” Scientists have even found the part of the brain that we use when we want to buy something new (it’s the nucleus accumbens in the cortex, the outer layer of the brain).
So could The Uniform Project be the answer? The brainchild of
Sheena says, “I was raised and schooled in
I don’t have Sheena’s stamina for shopping, her creative chutzpah, nor her closet space for the accessories but I think this is an admirable way of cutting back on buying whilst still retaining a delight in dressing and fuelling our need for novelty. Could this be the return of the uniform?
Pictures courtesy of The Uniform Project