Looking back I’ve made a lot of mistakes when it’s come to my shopping habits, and shopping sustainably. It wasn’t until I was putting together a Reel that I really thought about it, and I felt that I should share my mistakes over here too.
Shopping Habits I Regret
When I was in my late teens/ early 20s sustainability wasn’t really heard of to the extent it is now. Of course you studied climate change and topics like fossil fuels in school but that was about it. Trying to live more sustainably generally focused around your efforts to recycle. As I’ve been making more effort to make more sustainable choices I took a look back at all of the terrible decisions I made in the past to see how far I’ve come.
Shopping fast fashion
I shopped exclusively fast fashion. Now I do have a post up on sustainability shaming and how there is nothing wrong with buying fast fashion if that is all you can do. However, for me this ties in so much with all of the other regrets and bad decisions I made. The fact that everything was so cheap to buy really fuelled the fire because I felt that items were so easily replaceable.
This links with the point above. Because the items of clothing were so affordable it meant that I could buy a lot more than I needed. Looking back I was basically buying things for the sake of it. As I was going out so often I would buy several outfits at the same time. It meant that I had a new outfit ready to go should I need one. I would also buy the same top or jeans multiple times but in different colours. To a degree if you love something and will get the wear out of it, it does make sense to have a couple of options. But not every colour of the rainbow.
Buying and wearing once
When I was in my early 20s I would be out most weekends. At the time it was the ultimate sin to be seen in the same outfit twice. My party trick is that I can generally remember what people wore to an occasion so I thought others would also be paying attention. I realise how ridiculous this is now. Firstly, people are so wrapped up in how they look they don’t really pay that much attention to other people unless they have a real interest in fashion. And secondly why does that even matter? Now I think re-wearing and restyling the same outfit is brilliant and we should show that off.
Ordering and sending back
Another of my shopping habits I regret would be over ordering and then sending back what I didn’t want. As I was ordering from fast fashion sites the sizing would be so hit and miss between each item. There was just no consistency so you would order three tops that were of a similar style and need a different size in each. At the time it was assumed that if you returned something it would be repackaged and sent out to someone else. Now we know better. A lot of returns actually end up in landfill and in some cases are even burnt.
Throwing away instead of mending
If something got a tear in it, more often than not I would get rid of it. I would only really go to the effort of repairing something if I absolutely loved it and couldn’t re buy it. If I didn’t want to go to the effort of repairing an item then it just goes to show that I probably shouldn’t have bought it in the first place. Now I really consider each purchase before I make it. Will I get the wear out of it? Do I truly love it?
Buying sale items because of the price
If I see something in the sale I think “if this was full price, would I still want it”? Sometimes I know an item will go into the sales so I will hold off buying it as I know I can get it for a better price. But in the past I would justify buying an item because it had 50% off. The price would be what would attract me to the item. I find that a lot of items you buy in the sales usually end up being your least worn pieces.
I would love to know if you have any past shopping habits that you regret. Are there any here that you’ve done?