It’s that time of year again when I like to post a round-up of the progress that I have made on the blog in the last 12 months. Today I will be revisiting the five New Year’s Resolutions that I set myself one dark night, as 2014 drew to an end. I’ll also share with you how I got on by marking my own work pubicly (oh yeah!).
Usually by this point, readers are fairly up to date with my progress, but this year I’ve been decidedly crap on the blog – a meagre 24 posts. All of this is soon to change as you’ll see in my next post, but for now, let the 2015 assessment begin…
(Resolutions in bold, assessment below)
- Buy a very limited number of clothes for me, and a (less) limited amount for my children. I’d also like to avoid buying clothes to give as gifts. My aim is to prevent supporting the (largely) unethical fashion industry (see my post from 2014) Where I do purchase clothes I will endeavour to use tools, such as The Good Shopping Guide, to buy as ethically as possible.
I am still putting in a really good effort at keeping my clothes consumption to a minimum. When I decided to buy no new clothes for myself in 2014, I didn’t expect to be doing this well two years later. The items I bought for myself this year were mainly basic items that ‘supported’ the rest of my wardrobe – tights, underwear, a neutral pair of shoes, black leggings and a swim suit. The swim suit was the only purchase that fell into the categories of fashionable or luxurious. I purchased it in Fat Face, which does pretty well in terms of ethical High Street shopping (see link), and it was the only new item I bought for a family holiday.
I pretty much failed in my quest to buy fewer clothes for the children. I do try to buy them stuff in a bigger size so that, in theory, I’m buying less in the long term. I also use the Fat Face sale in an attempt to make some of my purchases more ethical, but I can’t kid myself – my efforts in this area are lacking (plus I really like Fat Face!)
While I definitely bought way fewer clothes as gifts (80% less?), I didn’t manage to cut them out completely. Especially when friends have babies, I find it so convenient to buy clothes as they are useful, easy to post and exchangeable.
Overall score: 6/10
- Learn to sew. The aim of this is to allow me to efficiently mend the clothes my family already has, plus – in time – try my hand at adapting the children’s clothes so that they might continue to get wear out of their outfits as they grow. One day I’d like to attempt making my own clothes from ethical materials, but I accept that this may not be something I achieve in 2015.
Ok, I’m shoving my modesty aside here to announce that I totally rocked this resolution! Within the first few months of the year, I’d made a dress and on Christmas day, I wore a much more complicated little number that even involved full lining! I’ve upcycled, adapted, mended and invented. I’ve even managed to sew some things as gifts for Christmas. I found I quite like sewing, which definitely helps 🙂
It is with relief that I realise I wasn’t expecting to make my own clothes from ethical materials this year. Although I have upcycled fabrics, and made use of some offcuts, I have yet to purchase any organic materials – this will feature in 2016’s goals (with no allowance for failure!)
Overall score: 10/10
- Learn to knit. I would love to master this skill. Ideally I will learn to make gifts for others as well as household staples such as socks, using UK wool. For 2015 I will aim to be able to produce a few basic items that would be of a high enough standard to give as presents. This cuts out poor worker conditions, and reduces the air miles my finished items have travelled.
I did well on this resolution. I started on a high and made a pair of mittens which were duly given away as a birthday present. I got somewhat distracted from my goal of being able to make household staples by falling in love with an intarsia cushion cover pattern – much more complicated that was necessary at this point in my knitting career – but I’ve stuck with it and learned a new skill and yes, I did use UK wool.
Overall score: 9/10
- Go supermarket-free for Lent. This will be the third year that I’ve given up supermarkets for a specific period. Each time I do it, I learn more and get less dependent on using them. I like to support local businesses and opt out of the poor environmental practices that are rife in the supply chain of supermarkets. You can read how I got on last year in my concluding post and please, if you’d like to, join in!
I completed this task with only a small blip when I used a supermarket chemist to pick up a prescription, realising too late that it was a supermarket-related (it was a stand alone shop, not a counter in a supermarket!!)
My blogging on the subject was pretty sparse and my shopping unadventurous so I’m dropping this from my blogging goals for 2016, in the hope that my writing will be marginally more interesting than watching a wall of wet paint dry. I will however, continue to go supermarket-free for Lent this year, so the subject may be alluded to.
Overall score 9/10
- Reduce my rubbish. I will continue to monitor and reduce my use of single-use plastics, plus I will aim to put out less rubbish – half a black bag per week would be a pleasing reduction. My local authority is finally due to collect food waste in April so I should be able to get rid of all food waste (as opposed to the limited items that can go in the garden compost) so with a boost like that, I have no excuses!
While I have done a fair amount of work in the past on reducing my rubbish, I think it is safe to say that I made little (if any) progress this year. In our household we recycle everything that the Council picks up and we are now able to recycle food waste fully. We still have our faithful veg box which comes in (almost) zero plastic and we’ve stuck to a lot of the changes we made for Plastic Free July but I can’t think of anything we’ve done this year to specifically reduce our rubbish. I’m awarding myself points for keeping up good habits but, as no progress is made, I end on a depressing end result of…
Overall score: 4/10
Despite the ups and downs in my scores, I’ve enjoyed reflecting on my progress, and am aware of just how powerful writing goals down can be in terms of helping to turn them into a reality. I’m currently working away on my list of New Year’s Resolutions for 2016, which I’ll be posting in the next few days. Next time there’ll be no fails!!
How did you get on with your goals for 2015?