In a world full of “influencers” showcasing everything you could would and should be buying, it is getting more and more difficult to shop for what you “need” and what we will use rather than the pretty twinkling’s that pop-up all over our internet browsing. It used to be that we would need to buy a magazine, walk past a bill-board or proactively walk into a high-street shop to be presented with the retail latest collections. Now, we needn’t even part from our beds to shop, we don’t need to leave our desks to browse and our shopping history invasively follows us around the internet and haunts us until we finally give in and in a few clicks have completed our purchase. Parting with our money has never been so easy. Do not be fooled that this ease is anything other than a fantastically well calculated scheme to spend and consume more. So how the hell do we slow down. How do we spend well? How do we stop ourselves re-purchasing things we bought and donated to charity years ago? How can we purchase less, but buy something that will last throughout the seasons and not fade with the trends?
The first thing I do is ask, do I need it. This is a pretty subjective term, because let’s be honest if we only had what we needed our wardrobes would shrink to a tenth of the size. Think through your wardrobe, do you have something similar? It might even be worth having a root through
Can you buy it second-hand? When I have something I really want in my head, the first thing I do is check with my mum to see if she has one. Let’s be honest, fashion has a habit of repeating itself, and you can probably find a very similar trend has previously surfaced and is now lying around in charity shops or on Ebay.
Justify the price. Personally, I think it’s totally acceptable to more a pricier item if it means you will wear it more. I always try to measure the amount of times I will wear it with the price, for instance buying a more expensive pair of work trousers that I will probably wear at least twice a week is justifiable. I have found that sacrificing the item you love for a cheaper version that is not as nice will work out less sustainable because you’ll probably fall out of love with it much earlier. If your budget is very small, try to get the very best quality item you can for your money.
What does the care label say? Is it high maintenance? If it needs dry-cleaning chances are you won’t wear it as much. Look for something that is manageable with your lifestyle.
How long will it last? This is hard to tell, but usually if you buy cheap you buy twice. That being said, I have a few H&M and Primark items that are still going strong after a few years. Get yourself educated, get to know what the fabric is made of. Look for cotton, ideally organic cotton and avoid plastic and artificial materials. These are more likely to irritate your skin, are terrible for breaking down and will usually be components of a cheaply made material.
Put all these things into practice, and you’ll hopefully find yourself with a smaller wardrobe with more pieces that you will love and wear and will last you for longer.