5 Ways To Become A More Mindful Consumer
by Rosamund Muir
A new year is a great opportunity for a fresh start and to bring new habits into our daily routines. When we talk about mindfulness we naturally think about self-care, meditation, and eating well, but in evaluating our habits and looking to set new ones, I ask you - do you ever think about the way that you shop and consume products?
Awareness of sustainability within the fashion industry has increased tenfold over the past few years, and when founding my brand I knew I wanted the company to grow as sustainably and mindfully as possible. I’m passionate about promoting slow fashion, using quality materials, and shopping less but better, and know that my friends and customers are becoming increasingly passionate about these issues too.
What is a circular economy?
The circular economy references the full life cycle of a product - from materials and design, through to production and all the way to consumption and the end of life of a product.
How can you be a more mindful consumer?
There are a few steps you can take as a consumer to shop mindfully and contribute positively to a circular fashion economy.
1. Shop consciously
Choose brands that are actively working towards becoming sustainable, through using quality materials, utilising deadstock, operating zero waste policies and promoting slow fashion.
2. Shop less, but better
The lure of low prices can be a trap for some, but if you’re conscious with how often you shop and stop to ask yourself mindful questions (Do I need it? What will it go with? Will I keep it beyond a season?) you can allow yourself more time - and money - to make less frequent, more considered purchases.
3. Take good care of your clothes
By caring for your clothes and shoes, you can easily guarantee they’ll lead a longer life and you may need to brush up on the correct care for particular fabrics and finishes. For example, use a brush to brush down calf hair, and leather protection sprays for suede and nappa leather. When shoes become worn, have them resoled at a cobbler or make use of an array of repair services to bring them back to life.
4. Swap, lend, borrow
Unless you have a perfect capsule wardrobe, a large amount of your clothing and accessories may lay dormant and unworn each season, and there’s a high possibility you have friends or family who have the same. Make use of each other’s unworn items and swap, lend or borrow your clothes to ensure they get the love they deserve.
5. Donate or resell
When you do finally decide to part ways with something, either make use of your local charity shops and donate your items, or make use of resale websites.
So how do I design mindfully?
It starts with materials. I hand select only the most premium materials so our footwear is designed to give a lifetime of wear and be loved to their full potential.
I work with a luxury deadstock supplier to better our sourcing and take a further step towards reducing production waste. The term ‘deadstock’ refers to materials leftover from large production runs that has historically been disposed of or sent to landfill. We have a zero-waste policy in our manufacturing, with each piece of leather expertly hand cut to utilise maximum capacity and any remaining scraps of leather donated to a local school for craft projects.
I’m also constantly searching for more sustainable components - wooden heels are used for some footwear models as a more sustainable alternative to a covered plastic heel which is commonly used in shoemaking.
What about production?
I operate our Atelier on short batch production, producing small quantities of each product that just meets demand. We test new styles on a made to order basis, so I can gauge popularity on each style and avoid over-production.
Each style is then presented in sustainable and eco-friendly packaging, with boxes made from recycled cardboard, organic cotton shoe bags and packaging that is 100% plastic free.
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