Since making the commitment to be more conscious about my consumer choices admittedly there are times where I feel tempted to stray from the slow and sustainable path out of fear and frustration
This temptation to stray is not from lack of belief but simply stems from being overwhelmed when faced with the magnitude and complexity of problems facing the fashion industry. I often ask where do we even begin. I will be the first to say I don’t always get it right, I am still learning and working to educate myself about the industry I love and examining all the ways we can make a difference in our daily lives.
I am confident my feelings of helplessness and confusion are not unique. Consumers are increasingly aware of the the need for change but when examining the statistics of our shopping habits there is still a disconnect. How do we begin to unlearn consumer behaviours that are so ingrained into our social constructs, social interactions and learned experiences?
As stated, I don’t always get it right but I increasingly work to make every choice as a consumer mindfully. From the brands I support, to refusing packing by carrying my own bags, to embracing minimalism and a capsule wardrobe it is my hope that in these little steps we take the collective impact can be substantial.
One of the most challenging aspects of changing my habits has been working on my impulsive tendencies by chasing the feeling of the sale, the new, the shiny. Whether I be shopping in person or online I try and follow a simple acronym to shop mindfully
Step away to prevent acting on the impulse then and there
Think of the facts pertaining to the brand’s business practices
Observe your feelings as to what is driving your impulse to shop (sometimes for me it has been a derivative of boredom or filling a void)
Probe and ask is the item in question a want or a need
Since taking a moment to S.T.O.P my wardrobe has not only been curated in a way that is truly interchangeable but my finances have also benefited. Though, with all that said and done there are days when discounts and sales can blind my pursuit of a capsule wardrobe, minimalism and dressing slowly and sustainably. We are only human, so when the going gets tough I try and recall the facts pertaining to the fashion industry that were the catalyst for changing my consumer habits. I hope they inspire you as they did me
By 2030, it’s expected that there will be 148 million tons of fashion waste
It takes 7,000 litres of water to make one pair of jeans
The amount of use we get out of clothing has decreased deceased by 36 percent compared to 15 years ago
The average person buys 60 percent more items of clothing every year and keeps them for about half as long
Greenpeace estimates that 20% of our clothing is not even worn once