How to become a more sustainable consumer? I’ve been thinking about this topic a lot lately and started to make small changes myself. Last week I kicked off a huge declutter and re-organization craze of my entire home, workspace and wardrobe (more on that soon) – but that’s not enough.
It is our responsibility to take care of our planet and its future. Not only for us, but also for our children. As fashion is a huge contributor to pollution, it is time to become more mindful on what to buy and what not. I‘m not saying we should completely stop shopping (I hear your sighs of relief) but all with moderation and balance. There are definitely ways to improve the environmental impact of our wardrobe – so I’ve collected 5 tipps & tricks for more mindful shopping:
1. BE AWARE OF YOUR CLOSET
Becoming a more mindful shopper starts with your own closet. The first step to streamline your wardrobe is to know exactly what’s inside. Take for example a rainy Sunday afternoon to go through your all of your clothes and make lists (I like to use the Notes App for these missions). Find out what’s missing for the upcoming season (maybe a linen shirt, summer dresses, shorts…) and what pieces you’ve already got enough of. This overview will give you the ability to focus more on the missing things and avoids bulk buying.
2. BUY LESS
Well, that sounds simple but it is definitely a challenge! Once you know the exact status of your closet (see tipp 1) you will instantly spend your money more wisely. Buying less means that you’ll have more money to invest in better quality. If you buy 5 Tops at let’s say Zara, you’d probably spend around 120€. So why not buy 2 great basic pieces that will last years, instead? With this trick you’ll create a pretty impressive, high-quality wardrobe within a year – trust me!
3. START BUYING PRELOVED PIECES
You all know how much I love vintage & secondhand shopping. I’ve been buying (and selling) preloved pieces at Vestiaire Collective, Ebay, Willhaben, Mädchenflohmarkt etc. for years and discovered so many treasures. My latest purchase is this Old Céline bag, which I’ve been eying for years!
Buying secondhand is super sustainable by extending the lifespan of a product. It also saves you a lot of money and helps to increase circularity in fashion (+ it reduces the environmental impact of your wardrobe).
TIPP: If you are based in Vienna: I’ll be selling my stuff at 2 Fleamarkets within the next weeks! 1. Heroes & Heroines Fashion Fleamarket, 25.5.2019 and 2. Willhaben goes Feschmarkt, 14-16.6.19 Ottakringer Brauerei.
4. THINK TWICE
My favorite trick to shop more mindful is this one: before I buy a dress/blouse/skirt/bag etc. I try to come up with at least 3 different ways to style them with existing pieces in my closet. Clothes are always perfectly displayed at the shop and we’ve all been there: the oversized Houndstooth Blazer is impeccably styled on the mannequin so WE NEED IT but once we bought it, we haven’t got any styling clue. It suddenly feels too bold and won’t match with the rest of our wardrobe. Result: it ends up rotting at the back of our closet. So if you can’t think about 3 different styling ideas before you buy it – leave it alone.
5. TAKE A LOOK AT THE LABEL
We are all responsible for our environment – so our shopping habits really matter. But this not only comes down to how much we buy but also what we buy. I always take a close look at the care label (or clothing description, if you shop online) before I buy. What is the composition of the garment? Mostly polyester? Polyamide? Skip it! Where was it made? Ethiopia? Bangladesh? Try to avoid it as much as possible. The garment workers there most likely get an extremely low wage (the average payment is 33 U.S. Cents (!!!) per hour – In Turkey it’s around 6,50 U.S. Dollar) for working over 60 hours a week! That is horrible and I do my very best to not support such inhuman companies.
The future is in our hands guys and we all should take more care about our planet. By a bit more mindful shopping we can contribute to a more sustainable way of life + a well-organized closet will make you incredibly happy. That is a promise :)