20 February 2010

Vivienne Westwood says Stop Shopping!?

Vivienne Westwood's plea to stop shopping for at least six months unless absolutely necessary has got me thinking about our attitudes towards fashion. It may seem completely bizarre for the head of an iconic fashion label to be telling people not to shop when all around us are campaigns for us to spend our way out of recession, but Vivienne Westwood is never one to follow a crowd.

Shop Save Jobs! - Vogue

I must admit Viv has an excellent point though as we've become a society obsessed with throwaway fashions with shops like Primark, Forever21, Topshop and H&M turning over inexpensive fashions and new trends every few weeks we've stopped making sound decisions about fashion and buying therefore not allowing ourselves time to develop our own unique style.
People must stop buying and buying. With so much fast fashion available to us, we are not giving ourselves the opportunity to develop good taste - Vivienne Westwood
I used to think nothing of looting my local Primark every couple of weeks and getting myself a whole new wardrobe and most the time a lot of my purchases remained unworn and went straight from checkout to the bin, sad but true!

But that was the old me, over the past year I have gone through a complete fashion epiphany. My wardrobe has gone through a thorough cleanse and I have either swapped the clothes I don't wear for something that I will, sold them on eBay or donated them to charity and what is left is a wardrobe which meets my everyday needs.

Vivienne Westwood said in her interview that shoppers should only invest in quality pieces that would last to avoid unnecessary waste and that she herself often wore the same clothes to events and parties. I'm a great believer in this and now look for quality in my clothes, I don't mind spending a bit of extra money on a jumper that I know is going to last me more than a few months and when it comes to those wardrobe staples I shop around and seek out something that has quality and timeless style.

Vintage shopping is also a great way to cut down on waste, and it's one of my favourite pastimes, you can find a whole wonder of fashion treasures in Vintage shops and if you think that all old worn clothes are smelly, disgusting and moth-eaten you would be wrong, a lot of the vintage clothes I own from the 50's are in better condition now than most of my newer buys from the high street!

We all have a part to play and if you engage with life, you will get a new set of values, get off the consumer treadmill and start to think and it is these great thinkers who will rescue the planet - Vivienne Westwood
Buying less also allows us the opportunity to experiment with our existing wardrobes and try wearing things in different ways such as layering, shirts as skirts, underwear as outerwear, customising, the possibilities are endless. There are a plethora of street style blogs and websites out there full of new and different ideas just look around and you'll find some amazing ideas for outfits, quite a few times people have complimented me on my new dress or jumper when in fact I've had it for many years and already worn it several times.


Ok so I admit six months is a long time, especially when you see a pair of YSL cage shoes on sale for £400!  but Vivienne Westwood makes a great point about modern consumerism and our attitudes towards fashion. It's a case of putting need over want and really thinking about the purchases you're making, so next time you're out shopping really think do I need this? Is this something I can wear? Does it match my wardrobe? Should I be saving the money for something else? and you'll be making a positive change not just for yourself but for the environment to.


  1. I probably couldn't go six months without buying anything, but I do know for financial reasons that I can't afford to go shopping all the time and buy as many throw away items as some people do. There is definitely value in buying lasting items that you love rather than cheap trends that you will throw away in a few weeks. Mixing in a few trendy cheap items can be a lot of fun, but I wouldn't want to go overboard with it.

  2. And i was just thinking today.. I need to stop accumulating junk.