I used to thrill at the deals I could find shopping big chain stores. Armed with coupons and a keen eye, I could easily rack up deals that would make me feel...I don't know...successful in some weird way, because I'd scored a lot of new things really cheap. When you live and support another life on one income, it's a good feeling to get a deal, yes....but was I really getting deals on things we needed...or was I simply falling for the clever strategies of marketing directors?
Perhaps it was a little bit of both. However, I have since learned that there is a cost for cheap fashion. I may have been proud to completely outfit my son and myself for a season for less than $50, but somewhere, somehow, someone paid a price. The environment likely took a hit as well, because the industry of fast fashion - think stores who regularly sell high priced items for 50-75% or more off - is a major contributor to icky toxins in our environment, not to mention the poor working conditions some garment industry employees toil under.
Back in April, I featured a bit more about the high cost of cheap clothing in my post on Fashion Revolution Day. I've done experiments where I didn't shop for clothes for 6 months, didn't shop for anything for an entire month except food, and most of my readers know my love of thrifting and upcycling. However, it's the temptation to shop the chain stores that reels most of us in.They just make it so easy. Some even give us money to spend.
Having committed loosely to another round of not shopping for any non-food items for a month, I was able to resist the urge to use this coupon last week. Why? Here are 8 reasons I resisted the temptation to use this coupon:
1. I currently do not need any new clothes or other items.
2. My son currently does not need any new clothes or other items.
3. It is highly unlikely I'd have only spent $5 had I went in, and it would have been money spent on items we don't need.
4. I'm committed to making my wardrobe eco-friendly and sustainable, which means applying a less-is-more mentality and shopping brands like Spiritex, Globe Hope, and Sustainably Chic.
5. I also believe thrift shopping is more eco-friendly and sustainable and try to find what I need at my favorite local thrift shop before looking for new items.
But more importantly...
6. I currently do not need any new clothes or other items.
7. My son currently does not need any new clothes or other items.
And perhaps most importantly...
8. It is highly unlikely I'd have only spent $5 had I went in, and it would have been money spent on items we don't need.
Still, a small part of me felt I had wasted the coupon...after all, it was $5 to spend, and it's possible I could have found an item on the sale rack for myself, my son, or a holiday gift for someone that would have been in the $5 price range... which means that with the coupon it would have been basically free, whoo hoo!
But a deeper part of me knows that fast fashion does have a cost, somewhere, to someone. So while I may visit these big chain stores from time to time when I actually need an item I can't find elsewhere, my personal goal is to avoid unnecessary purchases, no matter what the deal.
How about you, how do you resist the seemingly every-present push to purchase items, especially clothing, that you and your family don't really need? And what eco-friendly, sustainable brands do you support? Would love to hear your thoughts!