Buy-Nothing Challenge: Month 2

At the beginning of February, I decided to try very hard to buy no new clothing or accessories for myself for six months. Gifts for others were fine, but anything for me would most definitely not be an impulse purchase. Should there be anything that I decide I actually need during this time, I vowed to make a more considered purchase than I might have done before, asking myself the following questions:

  • Is there nothing that’s already in my wardrobe which will suffice?
  • Can I alter an item I already own, or make something myself?
  • Could I borrow something suitable from a friend?
  • If I can’t make do, can I purchase a second-hand item that will fit my needs?
  • If I absolutely have to make a new purchase, can I find an ethical/sustainable company to buy from?

The challenge got off to a bad start when it was announced that Dawn O’Porter’s vintage-inspired clothing range would go off sale when she went on maternity leave. I didn’t really need the skirt I purchased and felt somewhat guilty for impulse buying it, but at least I wasn’t buying from a faceless tax dodging corporation so I simply vowed to do better next time. Perhaps inevitably, a similar thing happened in March and desire overcame me.

Miód lingerie set, by Karolina LaskowskaWhen Karolina Laskowska first launched her Miód range, made from a single layer of sheer hexagonal English cotton bobbinet tulle, I fell in love. The simplicity of the styling, the honeycomb effect fabric and the gold-toned bee charms might have been enough on their own, but Karolina also shared the story of the fabric:

The tulle used in this garment was selected for its uniqueness. It was created on leavers machines by the last remaining English manufacturer, the same machines responsible for some of the world’s most beautiful lace. These machines are antique and must be threaded and tensioned completely by hand. When the laces are taken from the loom, it is normal for areas to feature small faults that are later hand-repaired. Whilst this is not usually visible in busy floral patterns, it is entirely more evident in such a strictly regular hexagonal pattern. You may find small areas of your garment featuring these delicate hand repairs: these are not considered a fault, but instead a reminder of the extensive hand crafting that goes into this beautiful fabric. As with organic honeycomb, the lack of total perfection simply adds to its charm.

I vowed to by myself a Miód underwire bra but then, somehow, managed to wait until my size had sold out. I’d lost my chance! That is why, when Karolina announced that she had managed to get hold of some more of the fabric, enough to do another limited run of the Miód styles, I placed my order without paying too much consideration to my challenge. After all, with this purchase I would be supporting a woman running her own business, making hand made garments in London out of hand finished English fabrics.

If you want to buy a set of your own, the underwire bra, bralet, high leg knickers, harness knickers, harness thong and suspender belt are now available online. UPDATE: But hurry, this is definitely the last time you’ll be able to buy them as Karolina recently announced that the next 6 months will be the last for her brand in its current form. Images via Karolina Laskowska.

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