Five things to do before and while shopping

I LOVE shopping! There, I said it. I know it is not a sustainable thing to love. The whole concept of buying material things, which are mostly unnecessary, is not sustainable. But I love that feeling of finding something special that just fits perfectly into my wardrobe. During the last couple of years, I have made a few rules for myself that I follow before and during my shopping ‘sprees’ to make my buying habits just a bit more sustainable.

I don’t necessarily follow all of them all the time, but I try, and I definitely have gotten better at not buying what I don’t need or don’t truly love. To me that’s sustainable too.

Make a list

{ What my ‘wishlist’ currently looks like – lots of black }

1 . Make a list.

On my iPhone I always keep a ‘wishlist’, which I update and edit often. Whenever I spot a new trend that I like or see something I find inspirational (as for example when I go through pinterest like here) I write it down.

Research your 'wishlist'

{ Royal Copenhagen coffeecup & Urbanears Headphones }

2. Research were to get the best option

Before I go shopping I try to research where I can get the best option. I look online and I go to different shops before I make my purchase. If it is something particularly expensive I sleep on the decision. If I’m in doubt, I leave it and if I can’t get it out of my mind after a few days, I go back and get it. And I really try to keep ‘spontaneous shopping’ to a minimum.

3. Look for sustainably produced items

I look for garments that are produced sustainably and I try to look for organic cotton, fairtrade or GOTS certified garments. Lots of companies have their own certifications as the GOTS and fairtrade ones can be quite expensive – ask at the store what the certificates entail.

I always look for quality over quantity. I’ve stopped buying garments, because they were on sale – you know; ‘when you see a new dress that’s pretty cute, but you’re not quite sure you’ll ever wear it, but it’s so cheap you buy it anyway and if you’re lucky you’ll wear it once, but probably it’ll just end up hanging in the back of your closet’ – I’ve stopped doing that and it’s actually saved me a ton of money and now, I love everything that’s in my closet, which saves me from a constant feeling of having a booming closet, but nothing to wear ( see my post about cleaning out your closet here).

Choose mono-materials

{ 100 % cotton t-shirts are my favorites }

4. Choose mono-materials

Look for mono-materials, meaning garments that are made 100% out of one fibre-type like; cotton, polyester, viscose, wool, etc. Mono-materials are easier to recycle at the end of the garments life cycle than blended fibres.

Choose quality and classics

{ COS shirt & Crosseyes x Northside sunnies made from recycled acetate }

5. Does it fit my overall style?

Once I’ve found a piece that fits all of the above criteria I always ask myself if it’s something I can see myself in for years and years or if it’ll be out of date before the end of the season? If it’s the latter I (almost) always leave it at the store.

A lot of things I’ve considered buying have been hung back on the rack in the store after going through this list in my head.

I hope this helps you choose consciously on your next shopping trip.

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Hella Lynggaard

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