In a world where life is hectic, it’s a comfort to most that we can access the majority of things through our phones. Indeed, wherever you are, you are only a fingertip away from buying that dress you’ve had your eye on, ordering a mug because you can never have too many, or restocking your favourite shampoo.
Similarly, when it comes to fashion and updating our wardrobes, we know that almost every week there will be a new range out in our favourite retailer, making it even easier to keep up with current trends.
At What Cost?
But how does this realm of online shopping and fast fashion actually impact the world around us? We already know it isn’t great to place an order online for a pack of three plastic toothbrushes, but we do because they only cost a pound, delivery is free and they will arrive on the doorstep tomorrow.
We also already know that heading to our favourite fashion retailer to buy the latest and greatest outfit isn’t the greatest idea. We know that it doesn’t matter if the outfit won’t be on-trend next year because the stitching isn’t going to last that long anyway.
And that’s really the issue of fast fashion and affordable online shopping; just because something is cheap, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a high cost.
Shopping with a Conscience
Choose Conscious is about providing people with an alternative to these issues. Rather than buying a dress that was cheaply and quickly made by a multimillion-pound organisation, buy a dress made by a local designer who has put their heart and soul into producing something beautiful and long-lasting. After all, a great pair of jeans is something you’ll want to hang on to.
In 2018, an estimated 1.8 billion consumers worldwide bought goods online. This is expected to reach 4.8 trillion by 2021. And these numbers are only for the order placed; returning packages delivers another marked increase in our carbon footprint.
Now, we’re not saying that online shopping and fast fashion has to end. We know how important it is to be able to shop for your friend’s birthday gift while commuting, we know how a new mug can make a rainy day a little bit brighter (we also know that we’ve already mentioned mugs, we just really like a good mug). But, if you’re going to shop, then why not shop consciously.
We know what you’re thinking, and no, we don’t mean only shop when you’re awake (although that is good practice too). Conscious shopping is taking into account all of the factors that go into your purchase. Were the materials sustainably and ethically sourced? Is the product vegan? Will I still be using this in years to come? Is there a better alternative? And most importantly, do I need it tomorrow? If the answer is no, add it to your basket or wish list and wait until you have multiple things to order.
To Buy, or not to Buy? – That is the Question
These might seem like a lot of questions, and they are. In fact, these aren’t even all of the questions you should be asking when shopping. But that should be the great joy of shopping; truly thinking about what you are doing.
Enjoy the process, relish the fact that you are not only buying something for yourself, but you are helping someone else gain an income. You might have just ordered a simple mug (we know there are other products to talk about), but the act of ordering it through an ethical marketplace means you are supporting a community, you are helping a small business grow, and you have done so while minimising your impact on our world.
When that mug arrives, wrapped carefully in recyclable packaging, with a hand-written note from the seller thanking you for your purchase and your support, a smile will cross your face because you have chosen to support them. Every time you make yourself a cup of tea in your new mug you will feel a little warmer inside with the knowledge that you consciously chose to help our planet (of course, the warm feeling could also be because of the tea).
So next time you have some shopping to do, take a moment and choose consciously. After all, some things are worth more than our time and our money, and they mean the world to us.