Five steps to a good purchase.
How you spend your money, shapes our future.
I used to be the type of person to head to the mall each weekend, wallet at the ready with my eyes fixated on all the bargains that were soon to be mine. Now? I avoid the place, I spend my money mindfully and I wait a minimum of two weeks from when I first found an item I ‘want’, before I purchase it.
It doesn’t matter so much what type of shopper you are, what’s important is that whenever money is exchanged in return for a product, you are choosing the value of your well earnt cash, and what type of world you want to support.
A purchase shouldn’t be a mere waltz to the mall absent-mindedly; it’s a place where you use your voting power for the better.
Impulse buyers, strategic shoppers, mall avoiders, and online shopping addicts, listen up...
A GOOD purchase will do wonders for your bank account, the planet, people, and your conscience.
Five steps to a GOOD purchase.
The first step to making a good purchase, is not to purchase at all.
Before you make a purchase, look at what you already have. Think outside the box in case another item will serve the same purpose too. Will this old mug make a good pen holder? Will this broken plate be a handy saucer for my plant?
Tip: Complete regular stock takes of what you own to make this process easier.
This step also involves refusing those big red signs reading “SALE”. When billboards and advertisements scream at you with offers of 50% OFF, it’s hard to resist. Whilst saving money is awesome when you need something, making a purchase simply because it’s on sale, without ever thinking you needed it until you saw it was on sale, is not saving money; it’s spending money you weren’t going to spend.
Instead of buying something new when an item breaks, explore ways you can repair it. This mentality will reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill, plus a fix often costs less than a brand-new item too!
When it comes to your wardrobe, learn how to fix basic rips in your clothes, and keep a needle and thread handy. Seek a local seamstress to fix the complex repairs, or ask a family member who knows their stuff (grannie will be more than happy to help).
Why buy something new, when it already exists? Second-hand shopping and clothes swapping, are great ways to promote a circular economy; better on the environment and better on your pocket. Plus, anyone can buy a dress from H&M, but no one can replicate the stunning vintage dress you found in a hole-in-the-wall second-hand shop.
Your top online stores for clothing rental and hire:
The Real Real
Oh Rent Me
No Brand New
Walk in Wardrobe (FB Group)
04. Shop Sustainably, and Ethically.
If you’ve assessed how you can avoid the purchase, looked to repair and reuse, and not had any luck, you’re onto the next step: making a conscious and GOOD purchase.
Seek products that are made with respect for people and the planet. Look out for natural fibres, fair-trade certifications, transparency reports, and information about how the product was made.
Align your values with a brand; pick and choose who you want to support (e.g. if you’re a passionate vegan, or push for female empowerment, find a brand who has the same values). Keep your eye open for brands who give back to their local and global communities through other initiatives, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
A GOOD purchase does good for you, the people who made it, and the planet. Don’t ever under-estimate the power of your pocket.
For a full directory on where to shop for ethical fashion, click here.
05. Respect your purchases.
The way you care for a garment or product throughout its life, can have more impact on the planet than how it was made. Treat every item you own like the investment that it is.
Follow the washing instructions on your clothes, get your shoes re-soled before the upper wears out, keep things in places where they won’t be knocked easily, and be delicate with items that are fragile. Holding the mentality that something is irreplaceable, is the best way to save money and reduce waste.
A purchase shouldn’t be a mere waltz to the mall absent-mindedly; use your voting power and question whether you need it, question who made it and whether they were empowered in doing so, question why the company does what they do and know that where you spend your money, is where you vote for the world you want to live in.