Everyone, in some way or the other, is a victim of retail therapy; shopping that makes you feel good immediately. We don’t ask questions before or after making this impromptu decision. It’s the ‘at that moment’ feel that counts the most, doesn’t it? The result might be a sense of satisfaction for that moment, but the actual aftermath is a stock of unnecessary and many times unwanted goods.
In the fashion sense, it’s the piles of clothes that lay untouched and take up space in our closets. It’s not a conscious decision. So, we can easily say that sustainability and retail therapy don’t really go hand in hand. The worst part is that we don’t even realise we’re doing more harm than good.
What can we do to curb this situation and take a more sustainable route? Do we completely say no to retail therapy? Well, that might be a tough one. So, if like me you are not up for a shopping fast as of now, then there are some small steps we can take in the right direction and choose to be mindful during our next retail therapy session.
Make A List
A list will help you focus and make sure your splurge was worth it. All the must-haves (read: something that you definitely need and can’t do without) should be on it. Also, I would highly suggest to always be on a lookout for wardrobe basics rather than trends of the seasons. Clothing pieces that will last in your closet for a long time and can work in any season are the best buys. These trans-seasonal elements will play a major role in developing your style too as they can be part of multiple outfits; ensuring you have a variety of OOTDs. For example, if your style quotient needs a denim jacket rather than a blazer, then let that be a priority on the list.
For this idea to be successful and for you to have a sense of direction while on an emotional shopping spree, the trick is to make the list before the season’s shopping begins. So, whenever you feel like spending, you do it only on the items that are on this list.
Quality Over Quantity
A good quality product will last you longer and serve its purpose well till the point you have to let it go. Plus, you can always choose to revamp it if the quality is long-lasting. So, even if it’s just the one thing from your must-haves list, treat it as an investment. Some of the different factors to consider while checking the quality of a clothing item is the type of fabric (of course, opting for a sustainable fabric can be a really good option), the quality of the stitching, the durability, the fit, and the comfort of the product.
Take the example of the denim jacket I mentioned earlier, even though it’s a sturdy fabric if its stitching quality is not right then it’s easily disposable and not really sustainable. So, always go for quality over quantity. It’s good for the environment and good for your pockets in the long run.
Go Without A Safety Net – Credit Card
Cha-ching! Once you start using your debit cards on such purchases (online or otherwise) and see your balance going down immediately, you won’t go for bigger, impromptu buys. It’ll be a true reality check.
Window Shopping Or Don’t Hit Checkout
Just adding to the cart and not making the purchase can be your pseudo retail therapy, just like the good old window shopping. It will take care of those ‘at the moment’ feels.
Giveaway Or Recycle First
Make a giveaway pile of clothes first; the ones you no longer need and are in good condition to giveaway. Another great option is to recycle old items from your wardrobe. Once you have them out of your way, replenish your sartorial needs. You never know, you might feel more satisfied by just giving things away and decluttering, and wouldn’t need the retail therapy after all.
With so many season’s sales around us, I know this one is a tough call, but showing a little restraint can go a long way when it comes to retail therapy, don’t you think?
– Written by Rashmi Bhosale