Should I buy it? Tips for more conscious consumption
Consuming consciously requires much more active engagement than some might think. In times when we are bombarded with options and products we actually don’t need, the mind process behind each purchase should be an informed one. We came up with this short set of questions to ask ourselves before every purchase - to make our buying choices better and more mindful.
1. Do I really need it?
Let’s face it, a lot of us live in abundance of items, clothes, accessories. Most of the times, we do not need 20 pairs of shoes, we would all be perfectly fine with capsule wardrobe - but of course, we are realistic here, not everyone will do that. What we can do, however, is really think about how much we need a given item. Maybe there is another worthy way to spend the same amount? Plant a tree? Make a donation? Options are countless.
2. Will i be using it a year from now?
Think about yourself a year from now - what is the actual probability that you will be wearing/using the given item? Most of products are fads, and are created to be so by marketing teams. They are made to last for one season and occupy your attention just until shortly after you buy it. When you are buying an item - do you see it incorporated well into the rest of your wardrobe? Will it go with other colors that you own? Do you usually feel weird wearing red, but you cannot resist? Well, your gut is always worth listening to, maybe drop the red.
3. Who made it?
This cannot be stressed enough. With the incredible initiatives like Fashion Revolution, we can be very hopeful that the message will get to every single person ever buying clothes, but really: take a second to check who is making your clothes. Do they have a decent working conditions? Do they get pain proper wage? Where, geographically, is the garment made? As a rule of thumb, if your t-shirt costs less than 50 HKD and is made in Bangladesh, Vietnam, Cambodia - you can be almost sure it is exploiting workforce.
4. What is it made of?
We are constantly flooded with options to buy, yet, rarely do we think about materials constituting clothes, accessories and appliances we use. In one of our previous posts, we have listed out the most common non-vegan materials which oftentimes are not considered so. It is always worth checking the label for materials that build up our clothes or accessories. It will not only give us a better understanding on how durable the item may be, but also will help us determine best ways to care for it. Linen, hemp, or 100% cotton items may be far more natural and comfortable to wear than a blend of polyester, lyocell and whatnot - they will most likely last much longer too.
5. Why am i buying it?
Our purchase choices are very often dictated by the wrong intentions. For example - if your old pair of shoes is not really protecting your feet anymore because of countless holes that cannot be repaired, yeah, you might wanna buy a new pair. But if you have just gone through your collection of 20 pairs that you already own and none of them go together with your mint trousers, besides, you just had a fight with someone and you wish to make yourself feel better - maybe that is not the best motivation for shopping. Have a reason for spending your money and time for things that will surround you.
There is much more to discover and educate ourselves when it comes to shopping for clothes, accessories, design… We are all responsible for the state of our environment and fashion industry is at the forefront when it comes to destroying it. But we at WOMB firmly believe that if we all try just a little bit to make more educated and mindful choices, dictated not by marketing campaigns and passing fads, but our true needs (and maybe sprinkle some compassion for the workforce on top of it) the world would be in a much better condition. Happy (mindful) shopping!