Fashion Detox: Torturous or Enlightening?

Imagine going an entire semester without buying any clothing or accessories — not even a new pair of socks.

Roughly 60 brave Mizzou students decided to participate in a fashion detox challenge. In addition, students from Oklahoma State University and Kansas State University are taking part in the challenge as well. Dr. Jana Hawley, Mizzou’s Textile and Apparel Management (TAM) department chair, asked students to participate in the fashion detox in order to create awareness about sustainability and excessive consumption. Many might see this challenge as stifling or tortuous, but many also view the detox as a moment of clarity.

For some, the fashion detox is a way to reign in excessive spending habits.

MU junior Laura Taylor had a habit of buying anything she envisioned she might wear — not things she knew she would wear. Taylor described her spending habits as “out of control with no end in sight.” In fact, Taylor estimated over half the clothes in her closet still have tags attached!

Even after the detox is over, Taylor is planning not to purchase any more clothes until all of the unworn clothes in her closet have been worn. Although she has slipped up, Taylor said that the fashion detox has really helped control her spending and reinvent the clothes in her closet.

Rebecca Miller, another MU junior, went shopping on a weekly basis before the detox. As a TAM major, looking fashionable and dressing up can be stressful at times; she considers her style her “business card." Although looking great is important, Miller admitted that it doesn’t mean she has to spend money on new clothes every week. In order to avoid purchasing more clothes, Miller has borrowed clothes from her friends.

For others, the detox has been a moment of clarity in more ways than one.

In addition to realizing how many things go unworn in her closet, MU sophomore Madison Alcedo has also realized that she needs to buy some new items. She has seen two pairs of ballet flats and a beloved pair of jeans diminish before her eyes, making the detox even harder. The detox has helped Alcedo clean out her closet a little bit, but with two jam-packed closets, Alcedo has said that she “needs to give up clothes.”

Many of us can relate to these three girls; as fashion addicts, clothing is a focus in our daily lives. Whether we buy new clothes to stay on trend, for the thrill of the purchase, or because we need them, staying away from shopping for an entire semester is a challenge for many people. For the fashion detox participants, this challenge has forced them to realize how much time and money they spend shopping.

For many, this realization will permanently influence their shopping habits and style choices. All three young women have said that when they go to buy clothes after the detox, they will think twice about their purchases.

Alcedo has actually found herself enjoying the fashion detox experience even though it has been difficult. Miller gave the following words of wisdom: “Being able to restyle and remix what you already have will save you lots of time and money in the future.”

In that case, go ahead and try a personal fashion detox. It doesn’t have to be a semester-long challenge, but even a month or two without shopping could be a great opportunity to fully explore your closet and realize how much money or time you spend shopping.

For more information about the fashion detox participants’ experiences, check out The Fashion Detox.

By: Katie Harbinson | Image: Source


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