by Sophie Wang - for day 16 of the 30 day slay.
(photo by Gergana Popova)
One of my personal goals for the year is to buy less and buy well. This means absolutely no impulse buying, only purchasing clothing secondhand or from small, independent designers, and really tracking my consumer behavior.
I am sure we all remember the age of the shopping spree, right? When we would go to the mall and come home with bags and bags of t-shirts and jeans? For me, this was my ideal weekend in middle school. I would line up for hours during Forever 21 sales with change in my pocket and graphic t-shirts in my hand — ready to count out every quarter I had to purchase as many shirts as I could.
Luckily, I got older and learned about the harmful effects of fast fashion and constant production and consumption. I learned that my actions harmed the environment as well as many small artists and designers whose work was copied by these big corporations. I started getting progressively better, canceling shopping sprees and closing tabs of shoes I don’t need — yet almost 10 years later, I still find myself impulsively buying a top or a dress that I’ll wear once.
This inability to change my consumerism habits started to significantly frustrate me, and I realized that these impulse purchases not only hurt the environment, but also my own wellbeing. While there is often immediate satisfaction and reward when impulse buying, afterwards, these items often leave us with stress and regret. Impulse purchases increase clutter (increasing stress), waste money (increasing guilt), and hurts the environment (increasing regret).
Through modelme, I was introduced to Shaunie Brett, a sustainable fashion consultant who went a year without buying any new clothes. I was incredibly inspired by this, so decided to set my own goal: to resist impulse shopping and only buy items secondhand or from small businesses. I will only buy what I know I will wear forever. If you too want to slow your consumerism habits, I encourage you to find a version that feels authentic to yourself… or follow this challenge: Buy no new clothes for a month — and let us know how it goes!