How to shop mindfully for new clothes?

Shopping mindfully is an essential step towards a sustainable and conscious wardrobe. According to the information I found on Textile Beat, Australians buy an average of 27 kilograms of new textiles each year and then discard about 23 kilograms into landfill.

Nowadays, we tempt to buy too many clothes, and then we end up with a closet full of clothes, think we have nothing to wear, declutter, go to the shops and rebuy new items. It never ends!

Don’t worry, there is a way out of it, how you can build a conscious wardrobe, on step at a time.

Can you look into your shopping habits? How often do you go shopping, and how many new garments to do you add to your wardrobe per months? That s a great reflection, to understand your shopping behaviours.

I want to share with you four questions I ask myself before deciding to try on a garment or before clicking “add to the shopping basket” when shopping online.

1. Is this an impulse buy?

I check in with myself and think about my intention; why am I choosing this garment? What did motivate me to this purchase? Was it an impulse or a conscious decision because I am really in need of the selected garment. Or was the sale offer to tempting?

2. Do I already own something like that?

I think back to my wardrobe and remember if I already have garments similar to the chosen piece. The similarity could be in colour, fabric, cut or pattern. For example, if I already have four striped tops at home, three blue jeans, four black pants and ten cotton t-shirts, I probably don’t need to add more.

3. What can I wear it with?

I imagine outfits I could create with the new chosen items and try to make as many outfits as possible. I wonder how I could dress the garment up or down and which occasions I would wear it.

This is very important to see how the new garment will work with my current wardrobe and fit into my lifestyle. It is crucial for me that the piece is an excellent addition to my wardrobe, and I can see myself wearing it.

4. How many times will I wear this?

This results from question number three. If I can create, let’s say, ten different outfits in my head, I know that I will wear the new purchase many times and for a long time. Wearing clothes for a long time and very often will assure long life for the garments and that the resources which went into manufacturing it was not “wasted”.

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I hope these four questions help you step into mindful shopping habits and become a conscious shopper, which support you to build your conscious and sustainable wardrobe.

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