From time to time, I feel that my closet is useless. I complain that I have nothing to wear and that whatever I put on makes me look ugly. And that is when I get the shopping itch.
The fact is that even if you’re disciplined enough to follow a budget, stick to capsule wardrobe rules and your color palette, shopping urges still come when you feel low. I will not lie: buying something seems like the perfect way to lift your mood. Always. Even if you swore to stop shopping and live more sustainably some time ago.
So how to soothe your shopping itch without breaking your budget? Follow these three simple rules:
1. SHOP YOUR CLOSET
Look in your own closet because the most sustainable clothes are those that you already have. When the season is about to change (for example, from fall to winter), I pack my summer clothes and store them in the basement. Next year, when I bring the box back, I feel like I am unpacking new clothes. And although I don’t have lots of clothes, I still forget what I was wearing the year before. My old clothes feel new and as if I have just bought them.
2. SWAP CLOTHES/ VISIT A SECOND-HAND STORE
Although I love shopping at second-hand stores, swapping clothes is even better. You can use an app (for example thredUP), or find a friend who is the same size and ask her if she wants to swap some clothes with you. It is one of the best ways to refresh your closet for free.
Besides exchanging clothes with my girlfriends, I like to visit second-hands and consignment stores. Thrifting is exciting because you never know what you’ll find. And buying pre-loved clothes makes me feel more eco-conscious and responsible. If you wonder where to find second-hand stores in Geneva, check this article.
And so that we don’t forget, there are many second-hand platforms online. Click to discover the Second-Hand Online Platform in Switzerland and here to discover International Second-Hand Online Platforms.
3. BUY NEW CLOTHES
I am not going to lie – I buy new clothes. Although 80% of my closet consists of pre-loved clothes, the rest is new. Why? Because when it comes to second-hand clothes, you can get good classics: white shirts, cashmere and wool sweaters, silk blouses, quality pants, and jeans. Once a year, I buy a few sustainable Swiss designers such as Pascale Cornu or Apesigned. Her style is minimalist, classic, and classy. Although it is an investment, you can put money aside in your budget for such a special, once-a-year purchase.
Luckily, many big brands are catching up and using sustainable materials such as linen, organic cotton, Lenzing EcoVero, Tencel, or recycled materials (cotton, polyester, cashmere, and wool). Some may say that all big brands are evil and don’t respect workers’ rights and the planet. I don’t think it is so simple.
FORWARD THINKING INITIATIVES
Some brands have joined initiatives/programs that try to make the fashion industry more inclusive, sustainable, and responsible. For example, Fashion Makes Change – a project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, united with some fashion brands worldwide to implement a “round up” tool at check-out. It is available in stores and online, and the “rounded-up” change is donated to women-focused NGOs in the Empower@Work Collaborative.
Nevertheless, if you can afford only fast-fashion brands, look at least for garments made of sustainable or recycled materials. Don’t buy clothes for one season. Repair them when they break, find a good tailor, and once you don’t like the garment anymore, swap it or give it to someone. And when you shop online, for example, on Zalando, Nordstrom, PKZ, ASOS, Shopbop, etc., look for sustainably & ethically made clothes.
So here you are. These are my three tips on how to soothe your shopping itch.
Did you find them helpful? How do you stop yourself from buying new clothes?