Our generation lives in a consumer society that is pretty different to our parents.
This is certainly not a bad thing, we finally have clothes designed to suit all shapes and sizes, there’s thousands of brands to choose from, all competing in prices (goodbye monotonous trip down to Clark’s to buy ugly but sensible shoes,right?). If you are savvy enough and hit the sales at the right time you can get a whole new outfit for less than £20! What’s the problem? Well, it’s that because of this ease and convenience of buying new things we seem to be stuck in a bit of a throwaway culture, particularly within the field of clothing. Over 1 million tonnes of clothing and other textiles is thrown away in the UK each year. If this was compressed it would be as wide as Canary Wharf and 3 times taller.
I am not judging. I used to have serious problem with buying clothes, especially when I was younger. I would march off down to the high street clutching the latest installment of my student loan and come home with bags full of H&M goodies for a party that night. Why buy one good top when you can buy five cheap tops?
In recent years I have had a serious cull on my spending,it has not been easy. Marketing pop-ups follow you around the internet, we get notified about sales and fashion is something that is constantly and rapidly changing and it can feel pretty tricky to keep up. There is also a delight in buying new things, a little treat to ourselves.
Well I thought I would share a few of my top tips on how I shop smart alongside some pictures of one of my favourite pieces from Toast that has lasted me throughout the seasons :
1. Origins – Look at the material and where the product was created. (Is this the sort of material that will last or shrink/ discolour after a few washes? What are the ethics of this brand? Spending a little more to get good quality and a good cut will go a long way.
2. Will the style last? Can you imagine yourself wearing this in a years time? I have definitely panicked before and ending up buying something for one formal occasion. Investing more in less pieces will save you so much money (and textile wastage) in the long run.
3. Is it comfortable? Don’t buy the shoes that look great but make your feet hurt after half an hour of walking around in them, and DO NOT buy anything in the hope of loosing weight to fit into it. We’ve all been there.
4. Do you really really need it? It sounds stupid but check your wardrobe first. I have been surprised by things that have been stuck right at the back of my wardrobe that have come back into fashion- dig deep!
5. Don’t impulse buy- If I really like something, I tend to leave it a few days and if I can’t stop thinking about I will then buy it.
I hope these tips have helped- how do you try to dissuade yourself from buying too much and improving on your smart shopping?