NEW YEARNEW CONSYOUMER
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.
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?
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.
*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.
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.
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!
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.
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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.