Purge Responsibly

Closet purges based on which was the trends are blowing are the worst. (Not familiar with this seasonal advice? See this Refinery 29 post and then look anywhere else on the internet that peddles ads for women.) Please just wear what you want and get rid of stuff responsibly instead of using terms like "throwing away" which sounds like everything is going into the trash.

I saw a comment on one of the Zero Waste FB groups that was something along the lines of:

If you buy something, it's yours forever. It's your job to deal with packaging, lifetime use and getting it where it needs to go next.
When you think about what your impact is on the world, it's not just what's in your home, it's everything you've ever thrown in the trash or donated.

And that's kind of true! I am directly responsible. Feels overwhelming to think of it that way but also pretty true -- even if it's a gift. It was purchased on my behalf and doesn't absolve me since it's now in my possession. I'm cleaning out my home office to make room for the (used) 60 gallon hermit crab tank so I'm really feeling the overwhelm of clutter these days and I'm doing my best to try to figure out what needs to go -- and where it is going.

I also have some new presents to incorporate into my daily life and likely more to come in the next week. My best plan is to make sure I find a place for all the new things I love and to remember to use them. And to keep tabs on gift cards by keeping them all in one spot -- or my wallet if I want them accessible. I have a habit of leaving stuff in boxes or in a random pile on my desk. But losing stuff multiple times this year really highlighted how important to "responsible stuff stewardship" organizing actually is. Like, so important! 

All these white elephant items are already incorporated into my life  -- it helped that I managed to steal the reusables in both white elephant swaps. 

I'm still going on Project 333 except a 1 week trip to LA for work where I had to bring logo wear that isn't part of my 333 wardrobe and also a few summer items I just didn't have in my current Project 333 collection. After those make it through the laundry, I'll put them "away" again. How is the laundry going? Let's just say I've been re-wearing a lot of jeans and shirts so thankfully it's really cold out these days. Still working on a laundry routine but it's true Project 333 will .

One day I'll actually work on photographing outfits again though I managed to pick kind of boring but really comfortable stuff so there's so little incentive. Most of it might look better as a flat lay so I can probably at least get that done by the end of January.


Tell me about your ugly holiday sweater.

Once upon a time ugly holiday sweaters were true to their origins -- plucked from the racks of thrift stores, freshly donated from some poor sucker's closet (probably a teacher, mom or grandpa). Some were sweaters, some were quilted vests, some were decked with classic puffy paint...but all were pre-loved (or pre-tolerated) and sprung from the well of re-use via a healthy dose of mocking. Nowadays, you can't throw a candy cane in a retail store during the holiday season without seeing a cheap acrylic sweater posing as an "ugly sweater." (Though most of those are cute sweaters or funny sweaters or whatevs. Because god forbid anyone wear something real ugly.) How did we go from skimming the cast-offs of a cultural theme to generating brand new and kind of off-topic versions at that?

Obviously this new development is not great for the earth. Not that the holidays are but if we're thinking about conscious gift guides, let's also think about conscious ugly sweaters, too. 

This Treehugger article includes a survey as to how many people bought new, the intent of not wanting to be seen in the same sweater and whether they planned to throw away their current sweaters to get new ones because they're so cheap. There's a new #GiveAKnit hashtag to promote DIY, swaps and buying used.

Here are a few iterations of what I've done in the past. Sometimes I just bow out but I enjoy corny stuff and I actually like participating in dorky junk like this sometimes. I will never get the crown of Greenest Bitch on Earth. *sigh*

Example 1: The ugly holiday t-shirt. The year this happened, it was wicked warm for December. I didn't want to wear a sweatshirt or a sweater indoors. It was like 60 degrees! So I though I'd DIY a t-shirt version. And then I realized that I had a cat Santa hat and scarf from when I was in denial a few years ago and thought I could get at least one of my cats in it and get a holiday card out of it. (Didn't happen, though we have photos of Cleo running down the hallway with the hat dragging on the floor behind her. Worth it.) So I safety-pinned the Santa hat and scarf onto a t-shirt where I already had a face. 

Example 2: The Real Deal. I went to a real thrift store and got a real handmade ugly holiday sweater. Is that fabric paint from the little tubes that you buy at Michael's craft store on those birds? YES. And those socks were brand new but from Unique Thrift.

This year I was caught unprepared for an ugly sweater party so I splashed out on a light-up Xmas tree headband, which I will wear again and again, even past the point where it lights up.

Now, tell me about your ugly holiday sweaters?