My First Purchase After A Year On A No-Spend Pledge

As some of you might already be aware, I spent the entire 2018 on a no-spend pledge. This period enabled me to build a deeper understanding of my wardrobe. I was able to uncover what worked for me and what didn’t. It also proved useful in helping me reconnect with the stories behind the clothes I owned; something I realised fast-fashion encouraged a neglect of.

In 2019, I decided to build upon this momentum by committing to adding no more than 12 new pieces through the entire year. The idea was to prioritise sustainable ways of adding variety to my wardrobe such as borrowing, thrifting, swapping, mending, and making. I aimed to buy only 12 select, high quality, well researched new pieces from sustainable + ethical brands. I wanted to be mindful of my consumption, as I felt there would be nothing sustainable about going on a shopping spree with sustainable + ethical brands.

I remember being told about Doodlage in a conversation with someone I met at a spiritual retreat. This was before I had begun my journey with sustainable + ethical fashion and I was extremely impressed by their aesthetic and for incorporating sustainable practices into their operations. Before I could buy something from them, I ended up committing to a no-spend pledge and although I never intended for it to last a year, it did. This meant I had to wait a long time to buy something from Doodle (1.4 years to be precise).

When I got around exploring their website, I found myself gravitating towards a piece from the women’s section (a tunic that I hoped to wear like a Kurta – a traditional gender neutral Indian garb). Unfortunately, it sold out by the time I could make the purchase. Luckily I stumbled upon a navy pin-striped shacket in the mens section that I adored just as much and was lucky to find an off-the-shelf size that I was fairly confident would fit me without any need for customisation.

It felt great to have chosen a piece from Doodle to end my no-spend pledge. The brand has been a pioneer (at-least here in India) when it comes to the use of sustainable practices such as upcyling and zero-waste production. All of their garments are made out of cotton waste collected from various suppliers around the city. The garments are sampled in their unit and are produced at a larger level with ethical production units, NGOs, and for profit social businesses. I was also impressed to learn about mindful ways in which they deal with waste. Post cutting waste is repurposed to make smaller accessories; while post stitching waste is recycled to make paper (used in their stationary). This commitment extends to packaging that incorporates plastic free packaging. The first (inner) layer is made out of starch to keep the pieces dry. The outer layer is a fabric bag up-cycled out of waste fabric. They also ensure healthy working conditions and pay their employees fair wage and are aiming to transition into paying living wage in the future.

All in all, my goal of ensuring that my first purchase after the no-spend pledge was special and meaningful, has been met. There is an elevated satisfaction of buying from a brand that shares my commitment towards protecting the environment and the very people making our clothes.

#sustainablefashion #outfits