Conscious Commerce, Shopping & Your Closet
Conscious commerce is a state of mind. It is shopping with purpose, for items that bring joy to your life and help you express your inner light. It is in support of small businesses, of creators, men and women who are dedicated to their craft. To use your dollar with passion, thought and awareness. It is bringing an end to mindless purchasing and creating a wardrobe that supports the life you dream of. This is a topic that is close to my heart and one that I have been exploring for quite some time now. On the surface, it is meant to bring awareness back into fashion-related purchases. To put an end to mindless spending and remove shopping aimlessly, often times resulting in acquiring more items that don’t fit into your closet/lifestyle.
As we dig deeper it becomes so much more. It is realizing that every time you are making a purchase, you are voting with your dollar and that vote counts. It is supporting companies that are creating sustainable fashion, or shopping vintage/consignment and recognizing that these practices are supporting the planet for future generations. It is making purchases with thought and love. We live in a world that is changing at rapid speed. And we constantly think we need more. In terms of fashion there is endless choices. How much time have you spent going through racks of clothing, not knowing what to wear? Or spending money on piles of fast fashion only to have it sit in your closet? Or making a purchase just because it is on sale or for the body you will have in the future?
There is way too many experiences to be had to waste your time buying frivolously or stressing about what to wear. Your closet should support the life you live and dream of, not hold you back from it. When you are constantly thinking “I have nothing to wear”, it just means less time to spend on real life experiences and creating memories.
I am personally going through a major transition in my own closet where I am pairing down to the core of my wardrobe and re-discovering the items that I put on and feel really unbelievable in. Until recently, I have made purchases based on what other people said I looked good in or what I thought I needed to wear. I think we have all been there. Going shopping with a friend and buying the dress everyone said you must have, and then never wearing it again. Or the on-trend piece you spotted in a magazine that you maybe wore once or might even still have the tags. Honestly, the thought of trying to keep up with trends is exhausting and something I am not interested in doing. It is a never ending cycle and to be blunt, a complete waste of time.
Connecting with our clothing and knowing where it comes from, whether that means discovering it at a vintage or consignment shop or learning about the quality and person making it, brings a new life and energy to our wardrobe. The clothing has a story that you can feel good about and in the end, you are contributing to the future of the planet and supporting a small business which is something to proud of.
This concept might seem overwhelming at first but it doesn’t have to be. This isn’t about perfection. It is about awareness. It is about being an informed consumer. It is not about feeling guilty or doing something drastic like overhauling your closet and starting over. It is recognizing that more stuff does not mean a more abundant life. If anything, it takes up the space of freedom in our life and weighs us down.
Four Ways To Shop Consciously:
Need vs want. If you are prepared and aware of what you need, you don’t make purchases that are just going to sit in your closet and waste your time and money. If you do buy something that you weren’t necessarily looking for, give it some thought. What other clothing will this go with that you already own? Is this a special occasion piece? Does it fit your body right now?
Purchase with awareness. I am not saying to never shop at big-name retailers again, but my goal is to bring awareness to that purchase. Of both where it comes from and the role it is going to play in your closet. We have been led to believe that the more we have the happier we will be when in the end it does exactly the opposite. It creates a cluttered atmosphere often times leaving us uninspired and anxious.
Be present. The idea is to be fully present when making a purchase. If your thoughts are somewhere else or you are emotional, you will not be able to make a mindful decision. Use your hard-earned money wisely, buying pieces that fit into your life and not items that will sit in your closet. If you have a choice between buying local or from a company who is sustainable, use your dollar there. Try shopping vintage or consignment.
Shop for the story, not the trend. Like I said, this is not about being perfect in any way but when faced with the choice to spend a little more on something I know I will wear constantly and that is beautiful and made with love vs from a factory - I am going to choose the item made with love. This piece of clothing now has a story, a positive energy infused into my day and closet.
I understand that a lot of people want to know who these companies are, where they can find them and what they are all about it. This post is the beginning of my new series, ‘Conscious Commerce’ where I will be introducing you to companies that are creating fashion that is beautiful and sustainable. This has been a dream of mine for some time and I am so excited to be creating this important conversation on Jewels of a Dreamer.
Together, let’s bring the soul back into shopping.