The First Steps to Shopping Consciously

April 3, 2018

Be Curious

What issues are important to you? Whether you want to curb your overall consumption to ultimately reduce waste or you want your purchases to reflect your values of fair working conditions. Explore your curiosity about these issues and research the companies that invest in sustainable practices that resonate with you; those that are doing so usually make sure you know about their efforts.

When you find products that you love from a company that champions the same issues you do and has values that are aligned with yours, it goes without saying that the products themselves will mean so much more to you and you will cherish them for longer.

Start Small

Why not start with your current collection of clothes, check out the care labels and find out where these items come from. How much are you being told about the production of your things? Whether it’s clothing, beauty products or accessories, when you start asking these questions, you’ll be surprised how difficult it can be to find the answers.

However, shopping consciously doesn’t need to be about replacing all your things with ethical and sustainable products at once; instead it’s about slowing down your purchasing and support for unsustainable and unethical companies. Rather than basing your purchasing decisions on what you feel you want, base your decisions on what you know you need. This is also what makes conscious shopping more affordable, as you aren’t impulse buying and accidentally spending twice your budget on a “quick look” in your favorite store. We’ve all been there! It’s important to make more conscious decisions about what you buy which will help you trade in that buyer’s guilt for cherished items that bring you continued joy!

Choose Well

When you’ve decided what you need, it’s time to look at alternative stores with more ethical and sustainable values. If you browse before identifying needs, you end up super excited about finding new sustainable companies and buying what you don’t need, and that’s overconsumption, which is ultimately wasteful – we’ve all been there!

An awesome resource to find out how sustainable and ethical companies are is the Good On You app – you can search what product you’re looking for, and it will suggest ethical brands you could buy from. Or search companies that you are already aware of and they will give you a run down of their environmental impacts, labor rights, and animal welfare practices.

A fashion graduate from the UK, I became totally intrigued by fashion ethics at university and wanted to become a part of the conversation online. Since returning from a year living in Sydney, Australia I set up Conscious Clothing Consumer to contribute to a positive change online.