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Why Jan Fran Isn't Buying Any New Clothes This Year

by: Rosie Dalton | 1 year ago | Features

Image: Jan Fran wearing a secondhand dress from SWOP Clothing Exchange. Image source.

Last week we reported that The Feed's Jeannette Francis, aka Jan Fran, isn't buying any new clothes this year. The SBS journalist recently announced via her Facebook page that she will only be wearing pre-loved clothing on the air all year long. "Friends, in 2019 the stylists at SBS Australia and I have decided to buy ZERO new clothes. This means I’ll only be wearing borrowed, second hand, rented, swapped or sample clothing on the teev," Francis wrote in her Facebook post. 

Jan Fran's story has got us inspired to make more positive purchasing shifts in our own wardrobes. So we reached out to the journalist and asked her for the low down on how she is going about her year of second hand fashion and how it's reducing the impact of her wardrobe, while also helping her stand out from the crowd. 

Rosie Dalton: What inspired your decision not to buy any new clothes this year?
Jan Fran: It was like a light bulb moment for me, where I realised that I want to reduce the amount of clothes in my closet that I don’t wear, I want to make the small budget that we have at SBS go further, and I also just want to wear cool clothes that no one else has. So this was the perfect solution to those three challenges.

Rosie: That’s awesome. You do start to see a lot of style homogeny in a globalised fashion industry and second hand clothing definitely helps us get back to that idea of personal style.
Jan: Definitely and I was already doing it in my personal wardrobe – I would say that three quarters of my personal wardrobe is made up of vintage, swapped or second hand clothes – so it just made sense. And it’s a great feeling when you go to the op shop and find that amazing jacket from the 1980s that no one else has. I’m trying to replicate that feeling a thousand times this year.

Image: Jan Fran wearing a vintage dress from The Sleeveless SocietyImage source.

Rosie: Totally and the fashion cycle is so cyclical, so nothing ever really goes out of fashion.
Jan: Absolutely.

Rosie: So are you involved in the selection process for your on air looks?
Jan: Yeah, I’m totally involved in the selection process. I’ve got two great stylists here at SBS and they were both totally on board with the idea from the get go. One of them actually has an Instagram account called Op Shop To Runway (@op_shop_to_runway), so her whole shtick is to travel the world and find these amazing clothes in op shops, then resell them. Our plan for the year ahead is basically just to hit the op shops, vintage stores and SWOP markets. It’s going to be so much fun.

Rosie: And have you set yourselves any parameters for achieving this goal?
Jan: The basic underlying rule is that there will be no new clothes bought in 2019. So I can buy vintage or second hand; I can accept sample sizes; I can rent clothing; and I can alter clothes that I already have.

Rosie: I think altering is so underrated, because you can give clothes a whole new life through a dye job or a hemline change.
Jan: Totally!

Rosie: And will this extend to your personal wardrobe as well?
Jan: Yeah, I see no reason why not because, as I said, three quarters of my wardrobe is already made up of second hand clothes anyway. And I don’t really have any need to buy new clothes this year. The only time I seem to buy new stuff is if there’s an event like a wedding, but I think I can work around that. So the goal is to buy no new clothes this year, both professionally and personally.

Image: Jan Fran wearing a second hand dress from SWOP Clothing Exchange. Image source.

Rosie: Why do you believe we should all be buying less in 2019?
Jan: Oh man, when you see the amount of clothes that end up in the tip, in piles at Salvos, or sitting at the back of your closet never being worn. It’s just that we can be doing so much more to reduce that. You know, I think we need prevention rather than cure right now. Good quality clothes last for ages, but we have just gotten into this habit of wanting the newest trend and you’ve got places like Zara or Topshop with incredibly quick turnarounds. There is this encouragement to buy heaps of new clothes right now, rather than focussing on quality. Why not buy something pre-loved, so we’re not adding an extra piece of material into the cycle that’s just going to end up at the tip? 

Rosie: Totally. Which is why it’s great to see people in the public eye starting to wear the same thing to events more than once and letting people know that’s okay.
Jan: There is absolutely no shame in wearing the same thing twice. There are people who wear one statement piece everyday, they mix and match with different pieces and style it so it looks like a completely different outfit.

Rosie: Do you have any hot tips for people looking to reduce waste in their own wardrobes?
Jan: I would recommend giving a new lease on life to a garment that you haven’t thought about in years. Pick something out that you never wear and see if you can alter it in some way. Also just hit up more op shops and, if you’ve got a friend that’s the same size as you, do a swap. One woman’s trash is another woman’s fashion.

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