September 8, 2020

“Every time you spend money, you are casting a vote for the kind of world you want,” said sustainable food advocate Anna Lappé. This applies to retail, too. Enter conscious consumerism, where each customer’s purchase has an impact on the environment or society. If you are guilty of buying tons of clothes that you never end up wearing, it’s time to shop more sustainably and be mindful of reducing your consumption. Here are five simple ways to minimise your ecological footprint.

Cheap Isn’t the Best Way to Go 

As compared to their fast-fashion counterparts, ethical products carry heftier price tags as they account for costs that are often omitted and unfairly absorbed by poorer nations. On the flip side, these products are designed to be timeless and to last longer, plus you get more bang for your buck in terms of cost per wear. If you are in the market for sustainable and affordable apparel, Boden caters to all ages, with a one-year guarantee.  

Practise the Art of Delayed Gratification

We have been routinely bombarded and brainwashed by advertisements to seek out instant gratification. Although it takes more effort to be intentional with every purchase we make, consider online second-hand stores like JustoJusto, who do not disclose when they will launch their clothing collection. What they do instead is to release prices and sizes in advance. Now you will feel less pressured to compete and succumb to impulsive urges.

It’s Not Just What You Buy, But How Much 

Adopt a mindset of repurposing your old pieces, thereby extending the shelf-life of your clothes. Kowtow knows a thing or two about that, by prolonging the life cycle of their womenswear—offering repair services and a recycling programme. This prevents wastage and preserves the planet in the long run. 

Research to Make Well-Informed Decisions

Brands aren’t always transparent with their supply chain. As a consumer, it can be misleading when some claim to reduce carbon footprint but avoid going into detail as to “how” they are going about it. Consider doing your research first to check whether the company is true to its mission and values. To help you be a better sleuth, Buymeonce does the dirty (or rather, clean) work of scrutinising the ethicality of products, while also testing for quality and durability before promoting them.  

Hold Businesses Accountable 

Although customers can sway business decisions with consumption patterns, efforts need to be channelled from an individual to an institutional level. You can hold organisations and governments accountable by explicitly questioning their practices and supporting campaigns. This sets a baseline standard for businesses to adhere to, paving the way for an ethical future. Make your voice heard with the #MakeItLast campaign that advocates for longer-lasting appliances as well as getting companies to shift towards quality over quantity.