Saturday, 20 October 2018

The shame of over consumption

This was going to be an empties post. I've been saving up my empty tubes and bottles for months in prep but I've come over all funny, in a non funny way. And this unsettling feeling has been growing from when I watched the Blue Planet II series. The shame and sadness I felt watching the mother whale swimming around with her dead calf for days, the breaking waves of plastic on once idyllic beaches and the realisation that nearly everything I buy comes in plastic packaging - a large majority of which is not recyclable. 
But it didn't stop there. I recently watched Stacey Dooley Investigates programme on Fashion's Dirty Secrets and was shocked to learn how much fast fashion is seriously effecting our world and health.

I've always loved shopping, doesn't matter what it's for - be it a home haul, fashion or beauty haul or Christmas shopping for my family, the excitement I feel when planning a day of retail therapy gives me such a buzz.
And recently my shopping passion has moved to a new area, that of cleaning products. You must have heard of the Instagram sensation Mrs Hinch? This bubbly, down to earth Essex hairdresser has made cleaning (hinching) the latest bandwagon to jump on and I have watched as over the past few weeks she has gained over a million followers. And to be part of the #hincharmy you need a cleaning cupboard (Narnia) packed full of every cleaning product you might ever need, and in multiples. And I have completely got on board with this. In the week I started following Mrs Hinch I spent £60 in a week, just on cleaning products. And as fun as it's been, I suddenly realised what I was doing. I was over consuming products that I didn't need, all in plastic bottles.

It's the same with fashion - I have a wardrobe full of coats, for every weather condition and season. Yet every autumn I convince myself that I need a new winter coat and new boots. It's the same with all changes of season. But I still seem to stick with a few items I really like, year after year. I add to my wardrobe and I'm embarrassed to say I have pieces in there that I have never worn and whilst they may not have cost loads, I still got in my car, drove to the shops and paid for an item I wasn't really in love with, bought a bag for it and then hung it up in my wardrobe for months and months until I eventually put it in a charity bag. 

So I've realised a shift in my attitude and thinking. I want to consider really carefully what I am buying, whatever it is and ask myself three questions:

1. Why are you buying this?
2. Can you do without this?
3. Do you absolutely love it?

And if I get home and realise I'm not that sure about an item, then I will return it. No more keeping it and hoping I'll find something that will go with it, because that never happens!

It's not about spending more on items either. I have bought things that were in the sales that I absolutely love and am still wearing years on. Cost per wear.

I want to be a careful consumer.

As excited as I get when I see lots of Instagramers all wearing the latest M&S midi dress, I'm going to think before I rush out and buy it. Do I even like it, or do I just think I need it because all these other people are wearing it?
I have my own style and at nearly 48 I'm going to have faith in that and stick with it.

A really easy way to update much loved items and still be involved in the season's latest trends is to just add an accessory - like a scarf or bag.

Don't get me wrong I will always love going shopping but more and more lately I am coming out of shops empty handed and sometimes I come away thinking "I've got something similar at home".

And another trick I do is if I see something I really really like, is to walk away and if I am still thinking about it two weeks on, then maybe it is for me. 

I will still be telling you about things I am loving but please know that I will have considered their purchase really carefully before I buy it.


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