Our commitment

“Being fashionable is not very important to me”

No meat, no flying and fewer new clothes. More and more people are purposefully refraining from certain things. The beauty expert Bea Petri has also had enough of out-of-control consumerism and has not bought any new clothes for a year.

Sandra Gonseth

Have you done any window shopping today?

Yes, in my own window! I am passionate about furniture and objets d’art from Asia and Morocco and sell them in my shop in Steckborn. And of course products from the dressmaking school “Nas Mode” that I founded in Burkina Faso. 

You haven’t been buying any more clothes for just under a year. What persuaded you to make this move?

I’ve been travelling to Burkina Faso regularly for ten years – one of the poorest countries in the world. They can only afford essentials, and sometimes not even those. Once back in Switzerland, I experienced our privileged society where people want everything, and as cheap as possible.

But there is clothing produced in accordance with equitable principles, isn’t there?

Even fair trade labels are far from guarantees for a dignified life for producers in third-world countries. I’m quite angry about the lies that are being told and despise the methods that relegate part of Asia and half of Africa to indescribable misery. This is why I wanted to prove that I could refrain from fashion for a time. And later to only sell products about which I can have a clear conscience.

How has this decision affected your everyday life?

I had to get used to it at first since I love beautiful clothes and have spent a lot of time in clothing shops, particularly abroad. When I fancied some new trainers or a winter coat, for example, I immediately thought “No, I will not buy anything more”.

Experienced any weakness?

No. Today I walk through cities without even glancing at the clothes shops or shoe stores. They simply hold no interest to me anymore. This has saved me time to go to the cinema, bookstores and meet up with people.

Has your clothing style changed as a result?

Nowadays I put on the clothes that are stored right at the back of my wardrobe. But honestly, being fashionable is not very important me. Fortunately, I’m quite imaginative and can dress myself creatively. And when I need to be chic, I still have enough items that look festive.

Are there any situations in which you have regretted this decision?

The first spring clothing was displayed in shop windows at the start of my clothing fast. I saw an amazing item with colourful overalls. I loved this piece of clothing and took it quite personally that my favourite fashion was out on show now of all times.

And how did the people around you react to your clothing fast?

Quite positively actually. My husband decided to join me in not buying anything else. And many have since told me that they want to try it out some time.

What is Swiss Post doing?

Swiss Post repairs devices, vehicles and tools quickly, or simply continues using them. For example, converting old batteries from electric scooters into energy storage units for solar power. Or selling discarded workwear in Swiss Red Cross thrift stores. Swiss Post also promotes sharing (e.g. PubliBike). Discover how Swiss Post uses its products and skills to support a resource-saving, circular economy: http://www.swisspost.ch/responsibility

You can do it too!

Wear long-lasting clothing. Choose to invest in fewer but higher-quality items of clothing. Keep an eye out for fair trade and organic labels. Do not take part in every fad. Buy from clothing exchanges and second-hand shops.

Bea Petri (63) is one of the best-known make-up artists in Switzerland. The founder of Schminkbar is committed most of all to Burkina Faso. This is where she established the “Nas Mode” training facility which helps shape young people’s perspective of the future. The products are sold in her shop in Steckborn (bea petri – schönes zum wohnfühlen) and in the Schminkbars, amongst other locations.

Copyright: Xandra M. Linsin

written by

Sandra Gonseth