In today’s commercial market, it is hard to know where the items and products we purchase come from and how they were made. Some might be made around the world and assembled in Canada and others might be all Canadian or from foreign countries. I noticed that the origin of fabrication affects the cost of purchase, meaning the costs of materials and wages have an impact on the overall price. The first thing I asked myself after deciding I wanted to buy consciously was “what do I want to encourage when I give money to purchase goods and services?“.
I wasn’t always like this. I love pretty new things and am very fond of some high-end brands but I don’t want a house full of things nor spend all my money on items I won’t get the wear out of them. Most importantly, I don’t want to work just to purchase more things and store them. I want pieces to mean something, do something, have a story and hopefully reflect my personality. Over the years, my style has been all over the place, following trends and bargains/sales. The past two years, I wanted to look the part I wish to be in this world. In other words, I wanted a mix of “dress like the job you want” and “that’s really her look” comments. The hard starting point was the research on the brands I used. It is harder then you think to know where they manufacture their products because, as mentioned, they make, produce and assemble all over the world. It is also hard to know how the people working for them are treated. Don’t feel overwhelmed yet, there is hope and luckily communities of people just like you that want to share.
Don’t be afraid to ask
This one is probably obvious to some but when we start we don’t know where to ask for recommendations. Sometimes our circle of friends is not the best place to ask but should be our starting point. They know you and what you like even if they might not be where you are in the transition to conscious living. Also, we are in the best era with content shared online and accessible from anywhere. There are great ethical fashion and natural beauty blogger/YouTubber that share their best finds, products, brands, and alternatives. They should be a great source of inspiration and their communities share valuable information when you start and feel overwhelmed.
Finding your what
To shop consciously is, in my view, to shop according to your values and what you want to support. When I asked myself the question “what do I want to encourage when I give money to purchase goods and services?” the answers were not easy to come for a while. I let the question sit for a few days and I did come with an answer. From that moment on, that’s what I did. Not really, change is hard and when you start you will make mistakes and that’s ok. Instead of changing everything at once, I decided to utilize what I already have, which I discover is lots, and try to change little things at a time and remember my “what”. Some days I feel really good while others are a struggle and overwhelming. Having like-minded people around in those days helps tremendously. They encourage you to keep going and take the opportunity to learn. After all, nobody is perfect despite whatever their Instagram shows.
Clothing swap party
It is a great alternative to going to the mall with your friends. You could do this every season or twice a year depending on the weather where you live. You invite your friends over and all have to bring clothing or accessories they don’t want anymore to be exchanged in your circle. Everyone gets a fun afternoon/evening with the squad while everyone looks at what others brought, e.g. t-shirt, dresses, pants, necklaces, rings, scarf, etc. In the best scenario, everyone finds something and go home with new things and it didn’t cost anyone anything. The bonus is that you can donate what is left to a charity store.
Donation to charities
This one is probably one of my favorites. I find it so rewarding to know that even if I did not use something fully or does no longer serve the purpose I purchased it for, it will bring join and help someone else. A word of caution that not all charities are equal. Once again, research in your area for details. Depending what you want to donate, some organizations might need to help give people a fresh start while others might resale it to raise money for programs.
It is a great option if you want unique pieces at an affordable price. Some stores are considered vintage so you might need to look at the thrift stores in your area to know what kind they are. Nowadays they even have previously owned goods sold online, especially high-end brands. It’s a great way to save the planet from unwanted clothes, save money and still access some luxuries. I have yet to try this but I am looking forward to indulging in a few high-end designer pieces (milestone rewards) I wanted for a long time via one of those online retailers. I will give you a little review once I do. I will also touch on the subject of thrift stores in a blog post shortly, so make sure to subscribe.
Give a second life
This one is not available everywhere but there are companies now that will take your old clothes, with holes and all, and recycle the fabric to make something else. It amazes me how brilliant and creative people can be. I invite you to research this more in your area.
While purchasing new
Above were some alternative ways to purchase goods and consciously let go of what we no longer use. If you which to purchase new, they are more companies that you would think that offers ethical and natural products while telling you how they are made as well as where they are from. I will link a few down below but if you know any others, please share with us.
I will have a new line of articles coming at the end of April called Monthly Favorites so make sure to subscribe to the blog or follow me on Instagram. I would also love to read your story of how you started, where are you at now and what you would recommend. If you liked the article, please let me know with a “like”. I wish you a fabulous week and look forward to reading you.