The Five-Step Guide To Shopping Smarter

Being a conscious shopper isn’t always the most convenientsometimes the extra research and planning doesn’t fit into our schedule. Plus with all of those easy, fast-fashion options at price points that fall within the “cheap dinner out” range, how could we not be swayed to make the simple choice?

But like a lot of shoppers across the globe, you are waking up to the production practices of big-box retailers, thinking about what you actually need, what you wear and where your clothes are from. There are a number of ways to make better choices when it comes to the clothing, shoes and accessories you purchase, but how do you start? Here are a few tips that make shopping smarter as easy—and fun—as possible.

1/ Shop local when possible. When you make the choice to shop small and buy local, your dollar is going directly to supporting that business: providing local jobs, enabling them to prosper and stimulate your local economy. Even something as simple as choosing to shop at a local boutique over the mall is a step in a more conscious direction.

2/ You want it, but do you need it? Take a look at the items you tend to grab out of your closet the most and when they need to be replaced, look for offerings from brands that are produced with an ethical mindset.

3/ Research socially conscious brands online. “Fair Trade,” “made in America” and “ethically conscious” are great search terms to get the ball rolling on finding new shops, brands and makers that provide stylish offerings to replace your current fast-fashion habits.

4/ When you’re “in the mood to shop,” try thrifting. We all get into moods when we just “feel like” shopping. A great way to avoid those impulse purchases and also buy smarter is to head to the thrift store and poke around, or visit some of your favorite local vintage boutiques.

5/ Start small. When it comes to making the switch to shopping more consciously, starting small is totally ok. Even something as simple as vowing to buy all of your holiday gifts locally or only buying locally made jewelry is a great first step into learning where your products are coming from, who’s making them and where your money is going. It may feel so good that you won’t want to stop there.

Featured photo by Megan Magray.

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