It’s October: the air outside is feeling a little bit crispier and we’ve already had to unfollow those people celebrating their first pumpkin spice latte of the season. And saying goodbye to September means saying goodbye to secondhand September too. Yes, secondhand September: that thing we were a bit obsessed with last month. While you might already be eyeing up those cat ears and your eyeliner for Halloween, we reckon you learnt a thing or two during second-hand September that you don't have to suddenly disappear from your life now the month is over. In fact, shopping second hand, and shopping more consciously in general, are great habits to try to stick to all the time. It’s better for the planet and your purse strings. Here are a few tips on how to shop mindfully, all year round.
3 Oct 2021
SHOPPING MINDFULLY YEAR ROUND
BE KIND TO YOURSELF
First things first, remember that living and shopping more mindfully looks different for everyone. Don’t expect to become a fully-fledged zero-waste, eco-warrior overnight: it’s not only impossible, but it’s also not going to be very nice for you or that noggin of yours. Be kind to yourself and take a more holistic approach. Do what you can and gradually implement measures to become a more conscious shopper that are doable and sustainable in the long run.
Remember that living and shopping more mindfully looks different for everyone. Don’t expect to become a fully-fledged zero-waste, eco-warrior overnight.
STREAMLINE YOUR INSTAGRAM FEED
There’s no avoiding the fact that we’re all on social media a lot. Therefore, it’s of no surprise that the things we scroll past every day are reflected not only in ourselves but in our shopping habits. A good place to start if you want to take a more mindful approach to shopping is streamlining your Instagram feed to cultivate a space that promotes that mindset. @emsladedmondson is a great one for advice on how to make the most out of second-hand and rental fashion. @besmacc is also one to keep your eye on; she is currently in the process of creating “Ethical Influencers”, a platform for connecting influencers who try to be more mindful online.
Rather than running around like a headless chicken, wondering why exactly there’s now reusable cotton pads and hemp shampoo in your bathroom, it’s a great idea to stay informed about why you’re actually doing so. If you’re an avid reader, try Laura Bravo’s "How to Break Up With Fast Fashion". If you’re more of a movie kinda gal, try “The True Cost”, available to watch for free on Youtube. The documentary looks at the environmental impact of the fashion industry as well as its labour rights abuses. While it might not be one for settling down and snacking on some popcorn, you’ll finish it feeling a whole lot more informed. The Leonardo Dicaprio produced “Before the Flood”, which is a more general look at climate change, is also available. Warning: he isn’t actually in it.
Rather than running around like a headless chicken, wondering why exactly there’s now reusable cotton pads and hemp shampoo in your bathroom, it’s a great idea to stay informed about why you’re actually doing so.
THINK BEFORE YOU BUY
Online shopping is an incredibly compulsive activity. Psychologists have even coined the term “emotional spending” to describe that little rush you get from adding things to your basket. So next time you’re having a good old browse, ask yourself why you’re doing it. There’s also no harm in putting a few practical measures in place to stop shopping becoming quite so easy: while saving your credit card details on your favourite online shops is time convenient, it also makes impulse shopping a lot easier. Ditto: Apple pay. If you are actually deliberating buying something, try the thirty wears test: if you don’t think you’ll wear it thirty times, you might need to reconsider whether it’s for you or whether a rental might be better. We did an entire blog about the whole rent vs buy debacle here.
CONSIDER THE STORY OF YOUR PIECES
There’s no better feeling than someone complimenting your outfit. But if it’s followed by the question “where did you get it?” you might have a bit of a problem on your hands if the item in question is the product of fast fashion. Think about what kind of story you would like to tell when someone asks that question. How much more interesting is it if it’s from a small brand that you’re passionate about, or if it’s a fun little rental. If you’re having trouble telling the kind of stories you want to, try downloading the app Good On You. It takes all your favourite brands and gives them an ethical brand rating so you can see which companies align with your values and are worth your hard-earned cash.
There’s no better feeling than someone complimenting your outfit. But if it’s followed by the question “where did you get it?” you might have a bit of a problem on your hands if the item in question is the product of fast fashion. Think about what kind of story you would like to tell when someone asks that question.
You might have seen this one coming. Nevertheless, rental is a great way to tap into trends and get outfits for special events without committing to actually buying a piece. After you’ve worn that little dress you were coveting, you just send it back and let someone else enjoy it. You’re allowing pieces of clothing to have more life and more love. Rental is also a great way to give the piece you've had your eye on a little bit of a test run. If you think your rental is more than a one-time affair, you can choose to buy it and keep it forever.
GETTING THE MOST OUT OF SECOND HAND
Shopping second hand often conjures up the image of scrabbling through your local charity shop only to come out with a half-average Ralph Lauren jumper to show for it. But shopping second hand is so much more than that. While you can be lucky enough to find a perfectly fitting, dreamy vintage gem, it’s helpful to be a little more imaginative when thrifting: it’s all about seeing the potential, babe. If you find a piece you love but it doesn't quite fit or it has a little hole in it, don’t just chuck it back. Download the Sojo app and arrange for it to be repaired or tailored to your liking. With bicycle couriers that both pick up and return your altered pieces, it’s no wonder actual royalty Amelia Windsor is a fan. At Endless Wardrobe, we also offer our nearly-new styles: beautiful, pre-rented pieces with at least 20% off the retail price. Have your cake and eat it too, we say.
While you can be lucky enough to find a perfectly fitting, dreamy vintage gem it’s helpful to be a little more imaginative when thrifting: it’s all about seeing the potential, babe.
SELL WHAT YOU DON'T NEED
We all go a little overboard sometimes. The result? A wardrobe bursting with clothes we don’t wear. Rather than feeling guilty about it and letting them gather dust, be proactive about it. Put clothes you don’t wear on Depop or give them to a local charity shop. Platforms like Vestiaire Collective even offer rewards for listing items: the more you sell, the closer you’ll be to getting your hands on a special vintage piece.
Information overload, we know. But if you just try and implement one or two of these handy little tips into your life we can guarantee you'll feel a whole load better about your shopping habits. Good luck!