TED Talk: Color Lover Jessi Arrington Wears No New Clothes (Video)

buy nothing new photo

Photo: Screen grab; TEDTalks, CC

For Jessi Arrington, a self proclaimed "color-loving" Brooklyn designer, shopping for clothes is a personal treasure hunt. She buys nothing new, gets all of her clothes second hand, and posts her vibrant flea market finds to her blog, Lucky So and So, where her outfits are arranged by--you guessed it--color.

She speaks at TED about her journey not only to the conference--where she packed nothing but a week's worth of panties--but through life, as well, with a fresh perspective on shopping. It all sounds sustainable, but is it?
As Arrington points out in the video, not only does her buying nothing new policy have a lighter impact on the environment but it has a low impact on her wallet, too. She claims you can always look great for under $50. With nothing but a week's worth of underwear for her week at TED, she packed her tiny bag and found everything she needed at shops in and around Palm Springs, California.

One major key in her ability to wear such vibrant colors is confidence. She says, "If you think you look good in something, you almost certainly do. And if you don't think you look good in something, you're also probably right."

She shares what she found and the life lessons she's learned along the way in this video, below.

Video: TEDTalks, CC

An interesting point she raises at the end of the video is that she's trying to learn how to not get attached to clothing. Though she disposes of her clothes in a sustainable manner, by donating them where she bought them, she's operating at a rapid rate of consumption; this idea of consuming clothing for one-time wear is what fast fashion thrives on.

A more sustainable model for building a wardrobe with long-term wear would be to invest in pieces that you can hold on to for years to come. While the clothing she bought for her week at TED carried her through a week--and made a point about how you can find clothes you need second-hand and at a reasonable price point--she dropped a couple hundred dollars on clothing she no longer has, which is comparable to buying ten "going out" tops at H&M; and never wearing them again.

What do you think? Tell us in the comment section below.

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