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4 Simple Questions to Encourage Mindful Shopping

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We’re bombarded with advertisements of the latest trends in the fashion industry every. single. day. And as beings that are wired to seek out pleasure, it’s hard to not get sucked in and consumed by it all. But making mindful purchasing decisions when we’re shopping, whether online or in store, can be made a lot easier by simply checking in with ourselves and asking a couple of the following questions.
1. Is this an item I actually need
Ah, that cute dress that you haven’t budgeted for, don’t need, and may regret purchasing when the credit card statement arrives - or find it in your wardrobe 2 years down the track with the tags still attached. I’m sure we’ve all been there and done that more than once. However, the key is differentiating between a feel-good-in-the-moment or mindful purchase is to simply take a step back and reflect whether you’re making an "in the moment" buy or an investment in something that's genuinely going to fill a missing piece in your wardrobe. Do I really need this? Or is it just a want? Am I purchasing this out of boredom? For the thrill of the purchase? Or to fill an emotional void? Try and stay conscious of what’s happening on the inside when you’re shopping.  
Tip: Make a detailed list of what you need before you go shopping and stick to it. That way you’ll avoid getting distracted by impulse buys. 
2. Does it fit my body right now?
I’m sure we’ve all fell in love with a piece before, only to discover it's not available in our size anymore. Frustrating hey?! But did you ever go on to purchase it in a different size, thinking you'll fit into it down the track? Yeah, guilty. If it isn’t available in your size or doesn't work for you right now, ignore it completely, rather than trying to make it work in a less than ideal way. 
3. Does wearing this item make me feel like doing a happy dance?
Our clothes can have a big impact on how we feel, which is why it’s important to wear items that help us feel great and connected to who we are. When you try clothes on, tune in to those pieces that spark joy and excitement when you wear them. In todays day and age, where we’re constantly bombarded with new fast fashion trends, it’s easy to end up with ‘fashionable' pieces, but do they really make us feel good? Focus on items that make you smile, feel comfortable, and give you confidence. That 'brand new outfit' rush is a fleeting feeling, so strive to purchase the things that truly speak to you and transcend trends. While you’re doing this, also begin to take notice of certain styles and fabrics that you gravitate towards and feel your best self in. And if you’re not absolutely in love with it and want to wear it constantly, it’s time to abort mission and put the item back on the rack, because chances are it will just end up in landfill after a few wears.
4. Will I wear this at least 30 times?
If you honestly ask yourself how and if you can get 30 wears out of an item before you buy it, “you’ll be surprised at how many times you say no” says Livia Firth. The eco-fashion activist launched the #30wears campaign to encourage consumers to ask themselves whether they could commit to wearing an item at least 30 times, and if the answer is no, to avoid purchasing it. This slow fashion campaign isn’t about not buying any new clothes, but how to make the most out of your clothes and viewing purchases an an investment, rather than something disposable. Rather than purchasing more items at a cheap price that may be worn once or twice, spend more money per item but purchase fewer items and wear them more. Will the item last at least 30 washes? Will you still love it and wear it in 6 months time? #30wears opens up a new way of thinking and approaches clothes shopping in a way that’ll have you looking for high quality, timeless and versatile pieces, rather than a cheap outfit that is only worn a few times. 
Is mindful shopping easy? No, not necessarily (especially when that super cheap, cute item with free shipping and returns keeps popping up in your News Feed.) But asking ourselves these 4 simple questions openly and honestly is a great start. By being more mindful when we’re shopping we’re helping say no to mass consumerism, likely to save money and extend that mindfulness to other areas of our lives.  
I hope you found this article useful on your journey towards conscious consumerism. Do you have any tips on mindful shopping that you'd like to share with us? If so, please leave a comment for others below. For more articles and inspiration you can also join our mailing list. By joining our mailing list you will receive special offers, be the first to know about new arrivals and emerging brands, and we'll share groundbreaking developments in the ethical and sustainable fashion industry. Oh, and we'll send you a little something on your birthday too! 
/ ( dd / mm )
Cover photo by Heidi Sandstrom. on Unspash