The holiday season is here, a time for families to come together to eat, celebrate, and treat each other with thoughtful gifts. However, alongside it comes the sale season, with days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday ever-growing in popularity. During this time, consumers rush to the shops to get discounts on their favourite products and to feel the buzz of prices slashed on their gift list. Sadly, this crazy sale frenzy breeds overconsumption, a culture that is not part of a sustainable lifestyle.
Instead, we hope to encourage you to be a conscious consumer with Fyne’s mindful shopping checklist. Here are our top tips this holiday season so that you can gift intentionally and protect planet earth.
How can you be a conscious consumer?
The fast fashion industry is one of the most significant contributors to climate change, continuing to put pressure on the planet’s resources every day. Through marketing schemes and sales culture, fast fashion brands have encouraged us to become a ‘buy first, think later’ society that covets seasonal trends and impulse purchases which we later discard. What’s more, sales culture is continually fed to us as consumers, making us feel guilty when we do spend money and pushing us, instead, to wear our discounted piece like a badge of honour.
In contrast, conscious consumers shop mindfully, thinking carefully about the item in question. Part of this is researching sustainable brands and product origin. For example, who has made the piece, and was it manufactured ethically and sustainably? In thinking consciously, we connect with our items, buying with a responsible mindset that is better for the planet and its people.
Q1: Do I need this piece?
We often shop in line with seasonal trends, buying impulsively and discarding later. Instead, before you buy, imagine the piece in your wardrobe. Can you match it with other elements, and can you see yourself wearing the piece in five years? If you can’t visualise it, reconsider the purchase.
Before you pay: Do you already have a similar item in your wardrobe that you can wear again? Or perhaps you have clothing or jewellery you can repurpose? It’s amazing what a little creativity can do to spruce up your wardrobe!
Q2: Am I only purchasing this item because it’s discounted?
Have you ever felt a thrill when you first purchase something new, only for it to dissipate a day later? Black Friday and Cyber Monday take advantage of this feeling, encouraging consumers to get their shopping hit by offering discounted prices. This just makes you want to buy more items rather than investing in good quality pieces that will last a lifetime.
What’s more, it’s impossible to produce items at this low price when you factor in materials, wages, and manufacturing costs. Somewhere corners are being cut, and it's usually staff in developing countries that suffer due to our impulse buys.
Q3: Is the item manufactured sustainably?
Conscious consumers research brands and ask hard-hitting questions when it comes to purchasing. It’s vital that brands are transparent and clearly show us the process from creation and manufacturing to purchase.
When you go to a company's website, do they have information on sustainability? Can you see if their workers are paid fair wages? Do they also use good quality, responsibly sourced materials? You can use some great resources, like ‘Good on You’, which provide sustainability and eco-ratings on worldwide brands.
A note from Fyne: Beware of sustainable buzzwords and greenwashing practices.
Fast fashion brands may use sustainable buzzwords (like ‘eco’ or ‘green’) in their marketing to create the illusion that they’re protecting the planet. In reality, this is just a marketing technique to encourage you to buy more instead of shopping mindfully.
Q4: Will I keep this item forever?
Fast fashion encourages seasonal trends and wastage; a vast amount of stock is dumped in overflowing landfills at the end of each season because it’s no longer on-trend. That’s why it’s crucial to buy staple pieces that will never go out of fashion. As a conscious consumer, ask yourself, “Is this a forever piece that will form a part of my capsule wardrobe?”.
Mindful shopping tip: Perhaps you’re shopping for a specific event? If there’s not something you can already wear or restyle, consider borrowing from friends or renting from online rental websites.
A Mindful Shopping Experience at Fyne
At Fyne, we choose not to participate in the Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales as part of our pledge to lead a conscious, sustainable lifestyle. By heavily discounting items, we feed into overconsumption, promoting impulse purchases and straying away from our mindful ‘made to order’ approach. Instead, we want to inspire our consumers to shop for life, choosing sustainable jewellery that will be passed down for generations. In consciously designing, sourcing, and producing timeless pieces, we take a future-first approach so you can look good, feel good and do good for the planet.