Consuming Less & Making More Thoughtful Purchases

One of my Sustainable Fashion Goals for this year was to buy less. I've been trying to make my wardrobe more sustainable for around 5 years by shopping secondhand and avoiding fast fashion but something I need to improve on is how much I consume. It's estimated that in the UK two tonnes of clothing are bought every minute which produces around 50 tonnes of carbon emissions [source].

Throughout my life I have always had a habit of buying the clothes I like the look of and not always really considering whether I will get a lot of wear out of them. But this seems quite pointless and wasteful. Why buy something if it's just going to sit in your wardrobe and not be worn? Surely it's better to only buy something that you know you will wear a lot and works with your style. 

To work towards my fashion goals for the year, I have been trying to make more thoughtful purchases and only adding items to my wardrobe if I really need to. Here are my tips for consuming less and making more considered purchases:

Conduct a Wardrobe Audit:
I think a wardrobe audit is a great place to start. Figure out what you already own, get rid (sell, giveaway and donate) items you no longer wear or don't fit and identify any gaps in your wardrobe. This will give you a clearer idea of what is already in your wardrobe.

Don't make Impulse Purchases: Sometimes it's hard not to make impulse purchases. I find this to particularly be the case when shopping secondhand - clothes are usually more affordable and sometimes one-off and unique pieces so it feels like it would be stupid not to. If I see something I like I tend to add it to a list or ask myself "what else can I wear this with" - see below!

Make a List: If you find yourself lusting after a particular item or see something you like, add it to a list. If you keep thinking about that item over and over again and can see how it would add value to your wardrobe then chances are it would be a worthwhile purchase. By adding it to a list it gives you time to really consider whether you actually need the item or whether it is simply an impulse buy.

Ask Yourself, "What can I wear this with?": There's not much point in buying something if it doesn't work with what you already own. I try to only buy something new if I can identify lots of different ways I can style the new item, otherwise I know I won't get a lot of wear out of it.

What is it made of?:
Recently I have been considering what my clothes are made of more and more. I am opting for natural materials over plastic based fibres as they are longer lasting and it reduces the amount of microplastics released when washing.

Shop Around: When I'm looking to add a new staple piece to my wardrobe, I like to shop around in charity shops and on Vinted to find something that will work with my wardrobe and and last a long time. I opt for items that are made well and are unlikely to need replacing again soon.

These are just a handful of tips that have helped me to reduce my consumption and make more thoughtful purchases and I'm always open to more suggestions. 



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