10 simple steps how to do it
Step one: Look at price tags as cost per wear, instead of a one-time (one-wear) cost that fast fashion taught us.
A change in mindset can change more than your mood. It can fully shift how you show up and approach all the things in your life—conscious consumerism is a shift in mindset.
Look back at the clothes you already own and roughly figure out the cost per wear by using this equation:
The retail price ÷ how many times it’s been worn = the cost per wear.
This number could be eye-opening, frustrating, or cause a little happy dance. When it comes to shopping new or used, try a new approach and look at the retail price as a cost per wear instead of a one-time cost.
Step two: Shop using “Do I need it?” and “Do I love it?”
Ask yourself often: “Do I love it”—As in, will you not stop thinking about it if you walk away? “Do I need it”—Will you wear it all the time, be able to style it many ways, and does it fill a hole in your closet? If the answer is no (contrary to popular retailers’ beliefs), you can probably pass on it.
Step three: Find more ways to love the things you already own.
You bought it because you loved it, now how many more ways can you wear it? . . . With a blazer, under a dress, tied with a belt, draped over your shoulders . . . Count the ways.
Step four: Allow yourself to be a beginner. No one adopts a fully sustainable liestyle overnight.
Cheers to making better decisions in 2023, but don’t beat yourself up about getting it 100 right in the beginning!
Don’t worry about immediately going from 0 to 100 on the sustainable fashion/lifestyle spectrum. Allow yourself to grow in your journey and make gradual changes over time that will become a part of your lifestyle long term rather than something you forced yourself to do and didn’t maintain. Allow yourself to be a beginner and celebrate where you are TODAY.
Step five: Browse and hold your cart for a day.
This is our favourite trick! It is easy to instinctively add items to your cart when browsing online – especially when you need a feel-good hit after a stressful day. However, not all of these items will truly bring value to your life beyond the first ten minutes of the transaction!
Indeed, we shop on impulse a lot of the time. Put items in your cart and just think about it for a day before you officially purchase. Often, the item you were about to purchase will seem less attractive when you revisit it a day later.
Step six: Share and borrow.
This is probably one of the best things we can all do. A little more sharing and lending things to loved ones, especially when it might otherwise mean someone would have to buy something for a one time wear.
Step seven: Buy locally and support small business.
One idea of being more conscious consumer is supporting your local brands. By shopping locally, you’re purchasing goods that: have smaller carbon footprint, improve the local economy, get quality products that lasts, donate more in community.
This difference between multinationals and smaller companies translates into the production process as well. The bigger the production, the harder it gets to do individual quality checks. Large business owners lose control over what happens with mass productions as the supply chain gets larger and more complex. In contrast, smaller production gives more clarity about the origin of the product, and who the people are who made it.
Step eight: Embrace a little minimalism.
Imagine a life with less. A Less stuff, less clutter, less stress, less debt and less discontent.
Our lives require space. But in a world of ever-increasing speed, time for reflection becomes more and more difficult to discover. Owning fewer possessions means less cleaning, less organizing, less repairing, and less financial burden. It frees up time, energy, and space-space that can be spent examining life to make sure we are living it to the fullest.
Step nine: Miss something for a little before you rebuy.
Absence really can make the heart grow fonder. When something has run its last leg, try going without it for a little while. Show yourself how much you really love it or maybe how much you don’t even need it.
Step ten: Listen to your intuition.
If something feels off or too good to be true, always ask more questions. Ultimately, listen to your intuition always; that initial feeling is usually the correct one.