Become a Sustainable Shopper
We are a part of a generation that not only supports, but actively seeks out to be environmentally sustainable in the decisions we make in our everyday lives... whether it is by carrying around a glass or metal water bottle, picking up our groceries in a reusable canvas tote, or simply being aware of our consumption of water or electricity.
Read on for La Reyna's Top Seven Tips to becoming a more sustainable shopper...
(Image from University of British Columbia, 2019)
One: Quality over Quantity.
We recommend choosing slow fashion over fast fashion. It is easy to feel tempted to buy cheaply-made pieces that are on-trend, only to throw them away after only one or two months after purchasing. While it is acceptable to treat yourself once in a while on that trendy item, these fast-fashion pieces should not make up the entirety of your wardrobe. Instead, build a long-lasting wardrobe out of high quality, capsule pieces. You will get better cost-per-wear and avoid building bulk waste from short-lasting apparel.
Two: Shop Pre-loved.
Some of our team’s favourite fashion pieces happen to be pre-loved and gently-used. It is the easiest way to score one-of-a-kind pieces and repurposing items that someone else is no longer using. Many fashionistas take pride in caring for their bags and clothes, making it possible for the rest of us to find second-hand pieces in excellent condition. Whether you shop at your local thrift store or a luxury re-seller, your support of a circular economy is a more sustainable option than always buying brand-new.
Three: Rent -- Don’t Buy.
Several businesses have adopted the “rent-over-buy” concept, which allows customers to borrow fashion items without having to make the commitment to buying them. Fashion-lovers (on a budget) can shop a wide variety of designer apparel, bags, shoes, and accessories -- for that special occasion, rather than making a $$$ one-night throwaway investment.
Four: Carry a Reusable Bag.
This one is a given, but we had to mention it here. Many apparel companies still give out branded plastic / paper bags at the Point Of Sale. While it might be positive for their brand image (and free advertising) while you walk around town with their branded bags in-hand, it is not the sustainably optimal way to carry your purchases. We recommend bringing a tote bag in your car or a foldable reusable bag in your purse -- the cumulative amount of plastic and paper you will save, especially if you shop often, will lead to a huge positive difference.
Five: Check your Labels.
The following habit may require the most effort to build into your sustainable shopping routine, but trust us -- your conscience (and your skin) will thank you. Go for biodegradable fibres and fibres that use less water during production, such as linen and organic cotton. Avoid non-biodegradable fibres such as nylon, polyester, and other non-breathable materials. Not only will you support sustainably-made apparel brands, but you will own higher-quality clothes that allow your skin to breathe.
Six: Shop Local
If you’re going to support fashion brands, think about choosing to support those who consider sustainability in their business model. Do they consider the environmental impact in their packaging and delivery methods, in their choice of fabrics, or through implementing local and sustainable production practices? Be honest with yourself -- are you supporting brands that are in line with your values and take action to reduce their impact on the environment?
Seven: Create a Style Vision Board.
Create an inspirational vision board that forces you to curate your style. Be honest with yourself about what you like -- what makes you feel comfortable and confident? Throw it all on a vision board and promise to only buy items that support that vision. Do not fall victim to the salesperson who is trying to sell you a fashion piece that is clearly not your style -- keep a photo of this vision board on your phone so you have no excuses. This technique absolutely works -- you will find you will wear all the pieces you buy, and you will no longer be responsible for a waste of impulsive purchases taking up space in your closet, waiting to be thrown away.
(Image by Ana Alves from WTVOX, 2019)