The second part of my series on how to build an ethical wardrobe is advice on resisting consumerism. There’s no point setting a goal to only shop ethically if you can’t recognise and remove those fast fashion impulses from your life.
It’s not wrong to want or need things, but what if you want to be more immune to fast fashion consumerism?
Now, I agree, it is difficult to be immune to consumerism. I’m sure we’ve all been there. You know, it’s a Friday evening, the kids are in bed, you’ve got a glass of wine, and you get an email from a shop saying they’re having a massive sale. Before you know it you’ve got a parcel winging it’s way to you.
How do you stop this? My advice is try to remove all temptation from your life:
Unsubscribe from mailings from fast-fashion shops
It’s no coincidence that emails from fast fashion retailers often arrive around pay day, or at the weekend – so remove the temptation at the source.
Maybe you get emails from fast fashion shops because you bought something once and now you’re on a shop’s mailing list. Maybe you signed up once to get 10% off your next order and never got round to unsubscribing. However you ended up on the mailing list, hit that unsubscribe button every time an email comes in!
If unsubscribing to every email sounds like too much work then use a email service to make your life easier. I’ve used unroll.me, which finds out exactly which newsletters you’re subscribed to and offers an easy one one click unsubscribe option to all the ones you don’t want to be subscribed to. I can’t sing it’s praises highly enough.
Using unroll.me I’ve unsubscribed from all the fast fashion shops that had me on their mailing lists. I then created a dedicated folder where I’ve set all the subscriptions from all my favourite small, ethical and independent shops to be filtered into. I can then look at those emails when I want to, but they’re not in my face as soon as I open my inbox of a morning or evening.
It’s pretty refreshing not to be constantly bombarded with “shop now” and “50% off today only” emails and removes so much temptation from my life.
The same goes for the catalogues that pop through your letterbox. I wrote a post what feels like a million years ago on how to stop junk mail that may be of assistance to you.
Stop buying glossy fashion magazines
These magazines are all about trends and just breed consumerism.
Added benefit? You’ll save £££’s! Say an average magazine costs £6 and you buy 3 a month. That’s £216 a year saved straight off. This isn’t including the potential savings you’ll make on buying clothes just because they looked good on the model in the magazine or because the magazine said an item was in fashion.
And another added bonus: life feels a whole lot better without constantly reading articles telling you to have a bikini body, or all the other negative body image crap that these magazines peddle. Nobody needs that negativity in their life.
Unfollow fast fashion blogs/instagram accounts
I used to read some fast fashion blogs (or rather, blogs that became fast fashion blogs) and follow a few Instagram accounts that became fast fashion-y. I realised these blogs and accounts were making me feel bad about my life, and made me want to buy more stuff. Unfollowing them took away the temptation to buy stuff because I’d seen bloggers wearing the latest trends and made me enjoy blogging a whole lot more.
Instead try replacing these blogs with sustainable fashion blogs. Some of my favourites include Style Wise, Tortoise & Lady Grey, Sustainably Chic and Sustainability In Style, and there are heaps more waiting to be discovered.
I’ll be back soon with the next installment – in the mean time I hope this has given you some food for thought!
PS: the first part in this series is here if you missed it.