Am I A Sustainable Shopper?

3 Steps in becoming a more conscious, smarter shopper

Let me start this post by admitting that my wardrobe at home is not 100% sustainable.

"What is sustainability?" We've all been reading up on it, we're all aware of it.We've all started to feel that pang of shame everytime we buy something new, or something synthetic. The truth is, we can't all be 100% sustainable, 100% of the time. But we can all make minor adjustments in the way that we shop, in our purchasing choices, and in our day-to-day lives. Here's 3 steps that we can all do to become as sustainable as our lives allow us to be.

STEP 1 - Change your mindset

OK let's face it - we're human. And we're bombarded by promotions in every aspect of our day. We are constantly seeing snapshots of "that perfect body", "that perfect outfit", "the perfect life". As a consequence, we have become the generation of consumerism, the "victims" of instagram. And I admit it - I too love the feeling of going out and buying something new and shiny. Nothing wrong with that. We feel more alive when we walk into work with a new pair of boots, or if we've got "that new dress" lined up for Saturday night's party. And while that's a lovely feeling, we should always ask ourselves, "do I really need that?" or more importantly "is it going to last?"

The first step in fighting this urge to make ourselves feel good with a new and shiny purchase is to change our mindset. Remind yourself that the thrill of acquiring the garment modelled on the mannequin of the big department store on your street is very temporary and unimportant. What is more important, are questions like "Who made that dress?", "Is it sustainable?", "Has its production wasted and polluted the amount of water that a person would drink in a lifetime?" , "Will I keep it and wear it for years to come?"

STEP 2 - Buy better, waste less

Whilst we can't be perfect, we can be better. We won't and we shouldn't just stop buying clothes; that's not a solution and it's definitely not feasible. What we can do is spend a little bit more in something that we'll keep; something that is well-made, that reflects the value in the work that has gone into it, and for which the people who made it have been paid a fair share. We can opt to spend on products that have been made with upcycled or organic materials, without the use of synthetics or harsh chemicals. We can spend on things that we can wash without polluting our water, things that don't promote the senselessness of "fast fashion". Things that won't be thrown away after being worn once, just because they're not particularly worth more than that.

STEP 3 - Implement rules to maintain a healthy wardrobe

I've found that there are a few "tricks" in making myself buy better. - "1 in 1 out rule" A good technique in making sure you know what is actually in your closet and that you really want that item you have in your basket is implementing a "1 in 1 out rule". Is there something you are willing to give up in order to make space for this new item? Sadly dropping off clothes to a charity shop when we're done with them doesn't really solve anything. 57% of discarded clothes end up in landfill. By being wiser about what we buy, we are being wiser about what we discard.

- "How many times will I wear it" It's no longer an excuse to buy something because it's cheap. "Doesn't matter if I wear it once, it's worth a fiver". I've thought that before, and I'm pretty sure you have too. As soon as we get rid of this mentality and start realising the implications of buying fast fashion, we'll invest in smarter items of clothing, that we'll keep and reuse. Let's make our own little vintage closet!

- "Does it reflect the value in its price" If something costs a fiver, let's take a second and just imagine how much factory workers were paid in order to produce it. One of the reasons why I started this brand was that I loved knowing who made my accessories, and how. I loved the simplicity of working with handwoven fabrics, and skilled artisans. We'll never compete with the high street in terms of pricing, but our products are authentic, beautiful, and the people making them have been paid fairly for their work. -

"Does it have a story" Have you ever bought something from a place that meant something to you and ended up keeping it for years? I always love reminiscing about where I bought that necklace from, how it was made, that I met the woman who made it from scratch to finish... I love knowing no-one else has exactly the same necklace. I love opening up my closet and seeing a rainbow of colours and cultures. It is my own story in a way. We don't live in a perfect world, and we most certainly can't be perfect ourselves. However, by introducing some small changes in our lives, we can be better, and we can collectively make the world a better place. So why don't we?

Thank you for reading; I hope we can all help each other become smarter, more ethical shoppers