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Tips To Help You Shop More Sustainably

Slowly but surely the world has begun to its eyes to the devastating impact of fast fashion which exploits workers and the environment to produce cheap, mass-produced products that ultimately often end up in a landfill. Programs like The True Cost, may have helped to highlight the most terrifying facts but they fail to give awakened consumers an answer to how to shop sustainably, so here are some tips to get you started.

Buy less and buy better

Over the years, fast fashion has led to the development of a throwaway culture in which we chuck out items when they become unfashionable or when they break. Nowadays, only a tiny percentage of clothing is ever worn more than 100 times, meaning more textiles are ending up in landfill and more of the earth’s precious energy is being used to produce new items. Rather than buying cheap, poor quality clothing that will need to be replaced after a handful of washes, instead invest in better quality pieces that will last you far longer and that you will look after for years to come. Making the switch to higher quality items will help you to realize what clothing and accessories you really need and will help to curb cheap impulse purchases that quickly fall out of favor.

Buy local

When you buy locally from small, independent designers and suppliers you not only support your local economy but keep the business of an independent person alive. When you go out to purchase a new item of clothing or accessory, you have the power to vote with your dollar to support local businesses and the people behind them, so as you are choosing to buy less and to buy better, also try to buy locally to help people in your local community. Buying locally is also a great way to reduce the carbon footprint of your purchase by reducing the distance both you and your product have traveled.

Buy online

If you can’t buy locally, then the next best thing is to buy online. The internet is a wondrous place allowing you to buy an authentic Maui Fish Hook from Hawaii and to have it delivered to your door in Missouri and although online shopping often involves significant mileage, it’s actually often statistically less per product than if you were to get into your car and to drive to several stores. Buying online is also a great way to discover and support new, independent, high-quality suppliers who may not be able to afford the rent of a local store.

Think about materials

When buying clothing, as a general rule try to stick to materials that are made out of natural fibers that you have already heard of, such as silk, cotton, wool, and linen, etc as this will help you to reduce the amount of synthetically produced materials you consume. Although synthetic materials have their plus points, especially in athletics wear, they take a much higher toll on the environment and so you should try to reduce your purchase of them where possible. If you’re aiming for the gold standard of sustainability then it’s also advantageous to try and find organic natural materials, as these have been produced without the use of harsh chemicals that can take a toll on water purity.

Stop impulse shopping

With fast fashion bringing down the cost of goods, many of us have gotten into a bad habit of impulse shopping. As you begin to buy better quality items that are more expensive and start to look into buying more locally and from independent retailers, you should notice that your tendency to impulse shop drops, especially as more money is at stake with each purchase. However, impulse shopping can be a difficult habit to break and if you still find yourself wanting to buy in the moment, then try and abide by the 48-hour rule, in which you make yourself wait for 2 days to see if you really want the item. During these 48 hours you can carefully consider if you really need the item if there’s a more local or better quality option available, and what you could do with the money you would have saved and if after the 48 hour period is up, you still want to make the purchase then you are free to do so.

So there you have it, a few simple ways to reduce your environmental impact and to shop more sustainably, and don’t forget, you can always shop second hand too.

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