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Shopping is one of the many ways that social media governs our lives. With every ‘like’ we tap on Instagram or Facebook, companies take note of this data to peddle us things that we think we can’t live without. Talks about new designer collections and what our favourite celeb is wearing makes us think that we have to constantly be buying in order to be functioning members of society.
Our previous post on Front Row Edit explains that such a mindset is false at best and extremely harmful at worst. Endless consumption isn’t healthy for the environment or for us, and it’s not just about fashion. Mindful shopping should encompass all aspects of your life, from your makeup to your food. Below are five strategies to help you kickstart your own mindful shopping habits:
Take stock of your belongings
The first step to cultivate mindful shopping is to take note of what you already have. We end up buying a lot of items simply because we forget that we have tons of gym leggings, for example, piled up in our closet. Take the time to list everything you have in your possession, from your bags to your books. The simple act of writing these down in a list can help you remember them, thus avoiding any duplicate buys.
Keep it natural
Mindful shopping is also about making sure that your purchases are kinder to the environment, especially when it comes to your clothes and beauty products. Beauty website Pretty Me recommends Snail White Whipp Soap as an all-natural alternative to your commercial cleansers. Since its ingredients aren’t chemically-laden, it’s less toxic to the environment and better for you, too. As for clothing, Los Angeles brand Reformation has made a name for itself by designing beautiful clothes with upcycled materials and using sustainable processes. The catch is that you should still be critical of brands that market themselves as sustainable and all-natural, as these terms are now on the rise. Always make sure to check labels and ask questions to ensure that what you buy is truly sustainable.
Really think about your purchases
The Gruen Effect is a psychological trick that explains how design and atmosphere can influence shopping habits. It sheds light on why so many stores will feature feel-good songs and calming lights — all aimed at getting us to buy more. This tactic deserves a post of its own, but being aware of these subliminal effects can help you control your spending. You should always think about an item you want for at least two days before deciding whether or not you’ll make the purchase.
Know when to splurge
On that note, it’s equally important to give yourself some leeway. Cosmopolitan’s experiment on disavowing any kind of spending shows that curbing any and all spending isn’t always the best option. Investing in pieces that you know you’ll love adds sentimental value to your purchase. This behaviour reminds you that treating yourself is necessary, and the positive effects are even more pronounced once you know just how hard you worked for a particular piece.
Stick to a few brands
Whether it’s a fashion brand whose clothes fit your body well or a farmer’s market stall you frequent, staying loyal to a few brands builds a relationship between you and the seller. Being deliberate about the brands you support is also a way of voting with your money, thus showing the seller that you appreciate how they conduct their business. Cultivating a relationship with who you buy from gives you a deeper appreciation of all that goes into making a product.