Just over a year ago, on September 1, 2021 to be exact, Mélissandre Blanc decided to stop buying clothes and live only with those she already owned.
“Why? This is the question she was asked the most when she mentioned the subject. And the answer seems obvious to this 17-year-old high school student, who has just returned to her senior year in the Nice region.” I was aware for a long time of the ecological and ethical impact it has had, “he says. After a while, it’s time to stop thinking, you have to act.”
“The hardest part is breaking the habit”
A “rather simple” process to start for this man from Nice surrounded by “models”. One of her older sisters and her aunt have already faced “similar challenges” by stopping consuming all kinds of products for a year. The high school student also received an “eco-responsible” upbringing from her parents, she says. Today her father is proud of her. “It is she who is now pushing us to question our habits,” she says with a smile.
In the end he wins too. Anyway, financially. Even if Mélissandre was not an “addict” person. “I just didn’t ask myself the question when I wanted to buy, I did it automatically. Sometimes my mother also brought me something when she found a nice piece of clothing, ”she explains. It is this rhythm of “automatism” that she wanted to break.
“The hardest thing in the beginning is to get out of the habit, analyzes the teenager. But the purpose of the approach is to ask ourselves what this consumption brings us: do I need it, what does it bring me, am I happier with this garment, is that what I really want? So I quickly realized that the answer to the phrase “I really need this dress” was simply no. We need to put an end to this buying euphoria. “
A challenge that “pushes creativity”
In her current closet, she estimates she has enough to “get dressed, unwashed, for at least two or three weeks,” depending on the season. “At the time of starting the challenge I still had a good base of clothes and then, for a lifetime opportunity, I had the opportunity to have more through the donations of my family. I have never felt naked or tired of my clothes ”. And he adds: “On the contrary, this type of challenge pushes you to be creative, to invent new associations, to create different outfits and thus to rediscover your clothes. Thus, we realize what we have bought on impulse and what we really like. “
And then 365 days were reached. Mélissandre then felt “simply happy” to have succeeded in this personal challenge. “I realized that once we were launched, everyone could get there, it rolls by itself,” she says.
A challenge that calls others
He describes an “empathy that has awakened more and more over the months” with “the thought of the liters of water used to make the jeans” or “the person and the conditions in which he worked to make a shirt”. For her, the most satisfying thing was to see influencers open the box of everything they had just bought or advertise in front of their cameras and feel no envy. Or see the reports and say that she did not participate in “this disaster”. “I felt it was possible to get there. Then, I succeeded, it means that I can do many other things even more impactful! “, she says.
He concludes: “In the end it is almost easy because I had to stop something while for other ecological commitments something has to be done. We can therefore have more of the impression that we are making an effort. Mélissandre will continue this challenge as much as possible. If she has to buy something, she promises that “it will necessarily be something second hand”. In the meantime, she is thinking about her next actions in connection with the conservation of the planet and “passing the baton” of this challenge to her 14-year-old sister. 357 days (or more) left!