I have a cousin 7 years younger to me. That’s usually the magic number for a generation-gap-wedge. But I find that SHE and I get along great in every which way. Conversations are free-flowing, character flaws are similar, laziness-meters and drinking-thresholds are in sync and above all, we are the same size.
Out of her many endearing qualities, I look towards her physical form with particular fondness. As it has helped the both of us to cut down on extravagance at a fundamental-girlie level- Shopping.
A year ago, the two of us got talking about the carbon footprint we generate by buying clothes, shoes, handbags, accessories- things that don’t last very long as boredom, rips, and new fashion trends set in. So we struck a deal which would benefit us a lot more than it would the environment- but we gave it an eco-spin anyway.
My cousin and I (luckily our fashion sense is similar- ‘earthy indie’) decided to share our wardrobes and do a clothes swap once a month. We were permitted to shop, but keeping in mind the others requirements/taste as well. We took turns to shop but only if it was necessary. We found that we started saving a fair amount of money and our wardrobes looked fresh as well. We share sarees, blouses, kurtis, salwars-kameez’s, dupattas, trousers, shirts- drawing the line at inner wear.
I have seen this system work so well with my mother and her 2 sisters, who despite living in different cities, meticulously discuss, pack and share their sarees during each re-union. It goes back to their childhood days when money was scarce and collective clothing was the only option. My mom shrugs it off when I tell her that the 3 sisters are being environmentally sensitive. She is just happy saving money on tussars and polycots.
The bottom line is to REDUCE. We can do it in a million ways on a day-to-day basis. Shopping seems like the most brutal place to start from- but if you are open to sharing, it works out just fine.
PS: The only flipside to the deal is that invariably friends, family and colleagues would gush over your outfit on the day you decide to wear your cousins. With repeated “It’s borrowed/ It’s my sister’s”, your circle may start to throw pitying looks- but keep your head held high, you are doing your bit to REDUCE. And that’s the first step of the 3-R cycle that the Earth loves.
PS 2: Sharing can lend itself to tools, utensils, cars, movable furniture and wherever the will to simplify leads us!