7 Ways to Be a Conscious Shopper

If you have to buy mass-produced, here are a few points to consider


Picture / Getty Images.

While most of us are aware of the consequences of fast-fashion, sometimes the lure of a shop window can be too tempting. If you have to buy mass-produced, here are a few points to consider before punching in your pin.

1. Consider how many items you’re buying
It may seem logical to buy the same item in three different colours, especially if it all costs less than $100, but pause to think about why you need more than one item, or if you’re just creating more waste in the long run. Will you actually wear black, orange and turquoise, or will black just do?

2. Do quality checks
If you're eyeing up a garment, consider whether it's been made to last: Do the buttons look like they're going to fall off as soon as you get home? Does the stitching look sound, or is it already coming apart at the seams? And think about the longevity of the fabric — will it still look good after a few washes, or does is look thin and flimsy?

READ: More tips for shopping with a clear conscience

3. Do you need to wear white?
White fabrics shows the dirt quicker and tend to have a shorter shelf-life. Do the environment a service and choose a more hardy colour or shade.

4. Check where the item was made
Although it can be difficult to get straightforward answers about how ethical a brand’s production is, there’s no harm in doing a bit of research. Visit a brand’s website to see if it has a social responsibility report available, and read up about which countries are deemed high-risk and low-risk. If you’re still in doubt or can’t get clear answers, find a brand that is transparent and buy clothes from there. And most importantly, use your common sense: If you can buy a T-shirt for $10, chances are there was some cost-cutting done along the way.

5. Consider your trend-based shopping
If you saw Alexa Chung wearing a patent mini skirt and you NEED to buy the high-street equivalent as soon as you can get your trendy little hands on it, think about the longevity of the purchase. Do you see yourself still wearing it in a year's time, or is appreciating it on our old favourite enough?

6. Think about why you’re buying an item
Does the item you’re trying on genuinely look good and make you feel comfortable, or are you buying it just because it’s cheap or on-trend? Chances are, if you’re not happy in the changing room, you won’t be happy when you get home either.

READ: What's so good about Zara?

7. Shop around
Last but not least, don’t forget to look at what local designers are creating. It may not be as cheap, but there’s a lot to be said about quality over quantity.

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New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Herald

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