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One of the biggest factors that turn many people away from sustainable shopping is the higher price tag that comes with sustainably and ethically made clothing. While that’s understandable, it’s also important to remember that those costs go to providing a better life for your clothing, the people that made them, and the environment.
Being able to afford a sustainable wardrobe doesn’t mean having enough money to spend, but knowing how to spend your money. Here are some important tips to keep in mind if you want to create a more sustainable clothing collection that you’ll love.
When it comes to clothing, most of us spend without giving it much second thought. Disproportionately low prices enable us to buy more than we need and more often than necessary, leading to a wardrobe of clothing we may not necessarily love and spent too much money on.
Setting a monthly budget for clothing can help us become more mindful of what we’re buying and give us an idea of just how much we usually spend.
We often go over budget because we just buy at will and count our expenses later. Shopping also usually comes with the idea of “wanting” over “needing” something. Just like you would look in your refrigerator to see what’s missing, take a look inside your wardrobe and assess what you have and what you don’t. Do your socks need replacing? Are you lacking and need a specific article of clothing for work? Knowing the exact items that you need can help you go out and shop with a purpose and stick within your budget more easily.
You can also add to your list how many of each garment you need to ensure you don’t overspend or over-consume. It’s also important to note that, unlike grocery shopping, you don’t go out and buy everything at once. Because purchasing clothing is a larger financial commitment than food, wait to find the items you’re looking for over time. This way, you have more time to reflect before you buy and have the chance to shop more often.
Reviewing your closet more often can also give you a better understanding of what you actually own. You might find you have something nice that you forgot about or figure out a way to wear something you weren’t sure how to wear before.
Most of us go out and shop for items only to come home and realise we already own something similar. Knowing what you already own can give you a much better sense of what to shop for and to shop with a purpose.
We’ve all learned from fast fashion that buying more items should lead to more variety in our wardrobes, but we can all also agree that this couldn’t be further from the truth. Most of the time, having so many clothes can lead to us feeling overwhelmed, and we tend to end up wearing the few pieces we gravitate to anyway.
By leaving behind the mentality of wanting and buying it now, leave items to sit and see if you still want them when you get back to them. Additionally, prioritising items that are better quality than they are fashionable will help with the longevity of your wardrobe and its timelessness.
Shopping sustainably is a lot easier than you think. Although it might seem like a bit of an adjustment, doing some planning and changing your shopping habits will enable you to save some money and make a bigger positive impact at the same time. It will also help you better maintain your closet and express yourself better by knowing what you truly love to wear, building a stronger and better relationship between you and the clothes you own.