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The Sustainable Consumer Mindset
July 1 2020
July 1 2020
Nearly everyone loves purchasing new goods, but not everyone is aware of the significant consequences that our choices have on our environment. As consumers, we often ask ourselves: How do we buy something in the most efficient manner?
But arguably the most important question that should be asking instead is: How do we buy something in the most sustainable manner?
Here are a few tips to keep in mind for your next online purchase:
Pause Before You Buy
Before you make your next purchase, think: Do I really need this? We as consumers often become obsessed with following the latest trends that we often find ourselves having to be a part of it. However, before you know it, you find your new purchase, worn once, in the back of your closet. One tip before purchasing, whether in-store or online, is to declutter your closet. For some, it may sound tedious, but going through your closet can give you a sense of the styles that you already have, and styles you wish to move on from. By doing this, it becomes easier to make purchases based on the clothing you already have and to ensure you are not buying a similar item. You can even try creating a capsule wardrobe where you can keep up with fashion trends while being sustainable!
Do Research Your Research
With increasing transparency, companies are moving towards sustainable processes. Researching company brands and their commitment to sustainable and ethical practices is one of the most important steps of becoming a more sustainable consumer. Even if you just spend five minutes understanding how the company incorporates sustainable practices, you should leave with a good understanding of their standards. The successful purchase is the one that meets your values and that is both ecological and ethical for our society and planet.
Invest in Quality
Quality over quantity. This well-repeated phrase is crucial for shopping lovers. Over the past few years, I have personally invested in higher quality clothing. Not only does higher-quality clothing fit better and last longer, but it also keeps you looking trendy throughout the different fashion cycles. By investing in quality over quantity, you not only experience more meaningful purchases but also supporting the health of your environment.
The day will come when you discover articles of clothing that are not your style anymore and you will want to move them out of your closet! One of the biggest mistakes that consumers make is throwing out their unwanted clothing. But instead of cutting the loop on sustainable clothing, consider donating, or using other platforms (such as Etsy, Poshmark, etc,) to give your clothing another home.
Just as American activist Marian Wright Edelman states: “We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee.” Living sustainability as an individual is an important factor in moving towards saving our planet. It requires of us, as consumers, to alter our consumer habits to produce massive results in restoring our planet to how it deserves to be treated.