A great way to be a more conscious consumer is to purchase more mindfully and intentionally. If you don’t buy the item in the first place, then you won’t have to store it, recycle it or give it away after use. A conscious consumer generally doesn’t participate in the overconsumption of materials.
“A mindful shopper is someone who thinks carefully before they buy. They consider the impact of their purchase. They consider how it will impact their own life and home. They also consider how the item they are buying was made and how it impacts others.”
_________ 10 Ways to be a Mindful Shopper _________
1. Clean Out Your Closet First
Before you buy anything…know what you already have! There is no reason to buy yet another denim shirt (Talking to Nicole on this one!), if you have one that is in good shape. Looking at what you have in your closets and intentionally deciding what other items you need to finish out your wardrobe will help keep you from overbuying.
2. Start a Capsule-Style Wardrobe
This is the best way to make your closet work for you. A capsule wardrobe is just a few items that are made to be worn together and interchangeably. There are so many ways to start this…pick a few basic colors, get basics you love, and learn your body type.
3. Borrow and thrift for one-off items
The wasteland that is formal dresses, costumes, fourth of July shirts, hiking boots you wore once, and heels that match one dress. You get the picture. Don’t go buy these items new. Text your mom group or shop Poshmark. Not only will this save you money, but it will also save the landfill from one more Old Navy Fourth of July shirt.
4. Try One Month Where You Don’t Purchase Anything
This is a great way to see just how much you buy, and how often you buy things you don’t really need. You will find that you can get the clothing items you “need” without purchasing anything. It is a great challenge!
5. Use Cash and Gift Cards Only
This is an old trick to make yourself more aware of how much you spend. When the money is gone, you don’t have any more to spend. It causes you to get creative and plan ahead.
6. Think About How and Where Items Are Made
You know how we feel about Ethical Fashion. Read all about it here. I find myself thinking twice about buying another t-shirt dress when I know it was made in unethical working conditions. I find that keeping the makers in mind prevents impulse buys.
When you see that item on the rack you can’t live without, leave it there and think about it for a couple of days. This is a great way to avoid impulse buying and end up with items in your closet you absolutely love.
8. Finish The Products You Have
Piles of beauty products, cleaning supplies, and graphics t-shirts. Yes, all of these items have more life in them and don’t need to be replaced quite yet. I find that the trick is to not purchase an item if you already have a version of it at home because we tend to never go back and finish the original product.
9. Buy Locally
Knowing the person or the community you buy from makes you more connected to the item. It just does. The purchase is naturally more mindful. Not to mention, supporting those in your community is good for the local economy and saves on toxic gas emissions.
10. Beware of the Deal
How many times have you bought something just because the price was good? Then, ultimately decided you didn’t even like it. Guilty! Look, I totally get the price being right. Hunting for a deal on a specific item can make you more mindful. BUT just purchasing something on an impulse because you like the price, this is going to land you with an item you don't wear. SO beware….See what I did there?
Good luck on the road to becoming a more mindful shopper!
This article is part of our “Conscious Consumer Project.” You can get our free 12 step guide to being a more conscious consumer here.