Don’t buy this jacket!

New years resolution number 2: don’t buy this jacket (or dress or coat or cardigan or skirt or anything else) without really thinking about it first.

Everyday I receive emails offering huge discounts or walk past shops with signs like thisAnd of course like most women, I am drawn to the promise of finding a bargain or grabbing something new. But I have resolved to stop purchasing items that I don’t really need or love. That means no sale browsing unless there is something I’m specifically looking for. I want to appreciate every item that I own and invest in quality rather than being driven by special offers. But it’s a challenge because today’s consumer culture is all about fast shopping, with stores doing everything they can to get customers to make a purchase. However, I have noticed a number of recent campaigns that go against the grain and recognize the need for us to become more responsible shoppers.

One of those is the Patagonia Common Threads Initiative. Back in November when the height of sale shopping madness (otherwise known as Black Friday) hit, I came across a thought provoking message on the Patagonia site. It said Don’t Buy This Jacket.

The advert is part of bigger initiative that asks customers to Reduce, Repair, Reuse, Recycle and Reimagine in order to help decrease their environmental footprints. Its aim is to get customers to think about whether they really need something before making a purchase. Of course Patagonia does not want customers to stop doing business with them, but it does understand the need to protect the environment, prevent waste creation, and encourage sustainable living. Patagonia also supports a number of smaller projects, including one that I’m particularly intrigued by: production of ‘Wild Salmon Jerky’ that will help to revolutionize the salmon industry. It’s not just me that believes food and clothing production are related!

I’m hoping 2012 will really become the year of eco-cycology, as predicted by Trendwatching.com, and that more businesses will join Patagonia in developing environmental initiatives.

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