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how to sustainably shop

Like much of the population, the source, ethics and environmental footprint behind products you buy, might be becoming a priority to you when you shop. But sustainable shopping does not just come down to buying from eco boutiques and waste free. We've put together a guide to help you think about your purchasing power.  This is not a "where to buy" guide but a lifestyle change.


  • Make a list. What do you need? Check your cupboards, plan ahead and try to get everything you need in one shop. Listing will also help to ensure you don’t buy things you don't need. Which leads me to point two...

  • Do I need this? Can I borrow it? Does my local library have it? Does a friend have one that I can use? Does a local toy library have it?

  • Cooling off period. If you follow point 1, you won’t buy anything you don’t need prior to visiting the shops. However, we all spot things we like or want, when bombarded with advertising. So take a cooling off period. Go home and leave it a week, or two or three to decide if you really really NEED it. Will it bring you essential requirements? If after the cooling off period you decide you do need it, go back and get in during one of your regular shopping runs. The cooling off period doesn’t count for essentials- this is more to prevent those impulse purchases.

  • Can you switch it out for something out? So you’ve decided you need that item after your cooling off period. But can you switch it with something else in the house, i.e. One in One out? What can you gift onwards that you no longer need? If you can't make any fair swaps, is the purchase really precious to you? Will it add significant value to your life?

  • Can I buy it secondhand, in a charity shop before ethically? Before buying anything, think about its source. DO you need a new pair of jeans, and before heading to your local boho boutique eco shop, can you check out the charity shop jeans? Buying preloved, especially when your pennies go to an amazing cause, is a winner before new items. If you can’t buy secondhand, your ethical store is your next best bet. Somethings are inherently hard to buy ethically. It’s part of eco living and don’t sweat the odd purchase that isn’t “eco”. Just try as much as you can.

  • Double check the source. Just because it has "ethical" "ecofriendly" or "environmentally friendly" on the label does not mean that it is. Use your cooling off period to search the source. Research the shop. Do they think of sustainability holistically? 

Shopping has the power for you to vote with your wallet. How you spend your money is both important to the economy but to us. Being mindful about your pennies has the power to change the world, and also save those pennies too.

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