Part 4 of our sustainable and consumption guide. This time it is time to reflect: “Which mistakes did we do in the past and what could we learn from them?”
This part of our introduction to mindful consumption is a very important one.
In the past articles, we learned what a mindful consumption is, what questions we should ask before buying something, and how a wishlist could help us buy less and better.
In this article, we are taking a look at what we should learn from our past mistakes on how to avoid things that we might declutter at one point.
To shortly sum up, we should be careful firstly because of the environmental cost that occurs during the production (read more about here: in “The unglamorous truth about fashion”), but also consider that once decluttered many items become again a burden for the environment, as 80% of donated clothing ends up in landfills.
We did some research, spoke to our friends, and collected facts based on our own experience: these below are the shopping mistakes you should avoid!
Mistake 1: Buying bad quality
We think this happened to everyone who frequently buys Fast Fashion. You bought a basic item that you thought you’ll use for a long time because it is a timeless and simple item (that you always wanted). But then you see that it got a hole in the fabric after you wore it just a few times (and believe us, it was in most cases, not the laundry’s fault) or the garment just lost its shape completely because the fabric is getting loose.
Fast Fashion is based on the fast response to fashion trends, which end up mostly worn a few times before hanging untouched in the wardrobe. The quality of the product (and its materials) is often so poor that it also wouldn’t last normal wear for the long-term. But the same also goes for electronic devices, remember when you bought some €5 headphones that turned out shitty and a pure waste of money? We surely did this mistake 😉
Mistake 2: Buying something on impulse
52% of garments are being purchased spontaneously and approximately half are being regretted afterwards. That’s why we suggested you to create you a wish list, but in case you don’t want to commit to a wish list, Bianca suggested in “7 tips for more sustainability in the wardrobe“, to always sleep one night about the product you want before actually buying it. This is the easiest way to avoid impulse purchases.
Mistake 3: Tossing too many things
In case one garment is broken, how often did you give up on it instead of repairing it? Maybe even something so simple like a button just felt off. Also, if you have some clothing that doesn’t fit properly anymore, you can always give them to the tailor and see if you can alter them. Maybe you can also make a little DIY project out of a shirt that has a big spot? FYI, no matter your DIY-skills, you can always reuse old clothes for cleaning (e.g. cutting them into a squared cloth).
Mistake 4: Buying a lot of things that you won’t use
In case you are about to start a new sport, you don’t need to directly buy all props and clothing. In the beginning, you can always borrow things from your friends, maybe even from the place where you plan to do sports. This is a better approach before ending up buying new things that will just end up unused in your home, taking space, and getting dusty. (Think also about the approach of Marie Kondo, of having at home just the things that spark joy). The same goes also for any other items, e.g. if you want to bake once per year a birthday cake for your best friend, surely you can borrow kitchen equipment from another friend and there is no need to buy directly.
Mistake 5: Buying gifts that no one needs
Following the birthday thought, how often do we get a gift that we actually don’t need and that is nothing more than a fun gadget (fun just for the moment of unpacking). Wishing for nothing material on your birthday not only is a way to avoid getting unneeded things, but also a way to have a little impact on your friend’s life. Vouchers for activities are absolutely back in fashion, and what better gift could there be than spending time together and creating a new memory?
We are sure we can work on an endless list of mistakes that we have made in our past. This is why it is so important to sometimes reflect and try to improve our habits for the better.