donate buttonThis is Jennifer’s first entry in the series “Grist dared me to make a change.” Read her second here. And support her dare with a gift to Grist!

Jen and momMom and me, both wearing her old wrap dresses, at my bridal shower.Jennifer Mac DonaldI wouldn’t call myself a compulsive shopper. When it comes to clothing, I only hit the stores a few times a year when I need something for a special occasion or when an item needs replacing. But with four weddings in my family this year (including my own) my special occasion spending has run amok.

Now my colleagues have dared me to go one week, starting July 25, wearing clothing sourced solely from the back of my mom’s closet. This means going vintage at work, at play, and while exercising.

My mom was a smart dresser back in the day, but I’m still hesitant. In doing some initial scouting, I see a few complications: 1. My mom is a small Japanese lady. I’m a half-foot taller and let’s just say I see some items being let out in the belt region. 2. Mothballs abound in my mother’s closet. Will I get past the toxic stench? 3. My mom has a hard time letting go and may not fall in line with this challenge willingly.

Still, there are a lot of good reasons to go through with it. New clothing production is resource-intensive and manufacturers often use unethical practices to get those new duds out on the racks at a low cost. Sure, sustainable threads are out there, but the best way to ensure that my new outfit is low impact is if it’s not new at all.

As noble as those reasons are, nobler still is supporting Grist, which helps me and thousands of readers make change in our lives. Won’t you support my vintage venture and make a gift to Grist today?