NEW YEAR

NEW CONSYOUMER

CONSIDERED LIVING

Hi There!

If you’ve found your way to this page of resources for the first time, I just wanted to say a big (warm and summery) welcome.

Each January here at Sustainability in Style we explore the reoccurring series New Year, New ConsYOUmer. This theme began way back when this site was my personal blog. It was born from my interpretation of the common self-improvement catch cry of ‘New Year, New You’. A slogan that’s founded in a desire for New Year’s resolve to change for the better. As part of my (at the time of inception) personal exploration of Sustainable living, I changed the narrative of the slogan to look at the way I was consuming the world around me, from fashion to waste, to how I was interacting with the natural surroundings on my daily walk. Resources on this page reflect the diversity of this interpretation.

We here at Sustainability in Style believe that you can be a ‘new’ you this year if you choose to do so. However, we think you’re pretty perfect just as you are, and that the resolutions or goals aside, the new year can be harnessed as an opportunity for mindful reflection on how you interact with the world around you.

Welcome the New Year with authenticity and big love. 

Katie

SHOP MINDFULLY AND MAKE MEANINGFUL CHOICES

Have you ever found yourself in the shopping centre car park- shopping in hand- only to wonder how the heck you got there? We are busy people, and it’s pretty easy to shop on autopilot. We can find ourselves in situations where we can’t find our keys, can’t remember what happened on the weekend, or fail to remember that we bought new gym wear until it arrives on our doorstep a week later. Being bombarded with messages about what we need and don’t need and providing convenient solutions to our to-much-to-do and lack-of-time problems often result in mindless purchases and sometimes, a mindless lifestyle.

WHY BE A MINDFUL CONSUMER?

When we shop with our brains on cruise control we check out of making conscious decisions. Sometimes this can work in our favour (like when we accidentally buy ourselves something we wouldn’t normally wear but totally love) but more often than not it results in buying things that just aren’t right, or worse still- items we don’t even need. Not only is this a waste of money, it also means our houses get cluttered with items that aren’t useful. In fact we are so good at bringing items into our lives that here in Australia we introduce around 5.1 billion dollar’s* worth of clothing and footwear into our closets each year. Which equates to around $44 spent per person, per week.

How you spend your $44 a week will determine the mindfulness of your shopping experience. Let’s quickly unpack this in diagrammatic format. For the purpose of the exercise we can choose to use our $44 in two ways.

  1. Spend
  2. Save.

*These figures came from Australian Bureau of Statistics reported figures, unfortunately the link to the original source from the time of publishing is no longer working. We could update the statistics annually for you but have retained the original statistics for consistency with the diagram.   

SPEND

If we choose to spend, we can spend this money mindfully or on impulse. If we choose to spend on mindful purchases, the options are limited by our budget. This amount of money won’t go far on new ethical or eco pieces because it’s not enough to pay the full production cost. It might score you some new underwear or socks. Perhaps a basic tee or tank if the design is simple. It could rent a nice bag for a week or get a huge pile of clothes from a swap or charity shop.

However, it’s best to pay attention when thrifting because it can be easy to shop on impulse for second-hand goodies.

Impulse spending is easy to do. We are encouraged to do it by the media and the way that stores are designed. Mindless spending usually results in items that aren’t quite right due to poor fit, quality, or the fact they aren’t our style. A budget of $44 AUD will buy a bag load of fast-fashion items. An exciting day out, but this purchase costs people and planet in damages and exploitation.

SAVE

Saving our $44 gives us more flexibility in the items we can buy. We can spend greater amounts of time researching our personal style and the right item for us. If you are eco and/or ethical-minded, you might choose to research an item that fits your values. Spending your saved budget on conscious investment will likely lead to a long-term relationship with that item. Savings don’t always mean wise spending! It’s just as easy to save for a year and go on a $2000+ spending spree at fast-fashion retailers.

You can also fall into the trap of shopping for high-end items because they are high end, not because they are ‘you’.

Spending time assessing your personal style is critical in getting your fashion purchases (luxe and high-end or second-hand and thrifty) just right!

DISPOSE

 While considering your item’s use seems like a natural part of the shopping process, its death isn’t always something we give thought to. Spend or save- the end place of your fashion should be a serious point of contemplation.

Many of us have been trained to think that donating to charity is the end of our fashion. This is just a pit stop on the way to landfill.

Even if you plan to give your unwanted fashion to charity at some point, you should consider if it’s biodegradable. This biodegradability is critical to those end countries that receive our fashion in the global second-hand textile market. If you can, try to shop from retailers that take back your unwanted items and turn them into new ones. This ‘circular’ production method is the one truly sustainable way of approaching fashion production.

 

If you’re contemplating a big closet clean out please check out our resource on how to responsibly declutter. You can find it here at our ‘Tis The Season to be Eco series. 

 

WANT TO LEARN MORE?

This resource is just one of many you can harness as part of our Look and Feel Great in Sustainable Style series course Learn to Shop in Sustainable Style. The Learn to Shop in Sustainable Style Level-Up course is a work-at-your-own-pace exploration of how you can use your dollar to vote for the Sustainably Stylish world you want to live in. Check out the link below for more details. 

 

LEVEL UP

WITH ONLINE COURSES
Are you keen to level up your Sustainably Stylish learning? We are now offering online work-at-your-own-pace courses based on our popular Sustainability Education workshop events. These workshops have only been available in real life in the past. Still, we’ve listened and know that Sustainably Stylish folks join us from across the globe, which is why we’ve started converting these courses to interactive online delivery format. Benefit from Sustainability in Style founder, Katie Robert’s years of academic learning, research, and teaching in sustainability education, environmental science, fashion, business, and yoga/meditation with these workshops (with e-booklets). Without time or sizeable financial investments.
LEARN MORE

NEW YEAR: FREE DOWNLOAD

This is your New Year, New ConsYOUmer worksheet designed to get you thinking about how you can take action in Sustainable Style this year. We take your big-picture ideas and simplify them down into smaller ‘go-for-it’ actionable steps!

 KISS ECO-OVERWHELM GOODBYE

Has the New Year got you feeling a bit stressed out? We’ve got you covered with FREE resources to help you combat eco-overwhelm.

Click here to find out about our unique approach to caring for your Sustainable Self (including our eight-part toolkit) as you live life in Sustainable Style.

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