Everyone loves a bargain. There's nothing quite like that warm fuzzy feeling you get whenever you see a half-price label. When our eyes meet one of those red or yellow stickers, it’s likely that we instantly put the item into our baskets and walk on feeling pleased with ourselves. Yet have you ever thought whether you really need the clothes you see on the sale rail? With a large discount, you might think that it’s too good of a chance to miss. Yet when it’s still sitting unworn in your cupboard 3 years later, you have to ask yourself what the point in buying it was.
The Problem with Impulse Buying
With the sheer amount of sales happening throughout the year in all of our favourite stores, and of course Black Friday added into the mix, it’s all too easy to make impulse purchases. Of course, some bargain buys can be amazing finds. Yet out of every bagfull we purchase, how many garments get worn more than a handful of times, if at all?
Trying to curtail our impulses can be difficult, but in the long run it’s likely to save you money. We’ve all bought clothing from a sale that we don’t need and don’t have any use for. This is where intentional shopping comes in. It’s the idea of taking a minute to think before adding another item to your basket. Or asking yourself if you really need the garment or are you ever going to wear it. Taking 60 seconds to consider why you are buying something can have some surprising results – for both your pocket and your wardrobe clutter.
Buying intentionally is also great for the environment. Globally, 80% of discarded garments end up either in landfills or incinerators. Very little is ever recycled. By saying no to that half-price hat that you know in your heart you’re never going to wear in public, you’re actually promoting a green and sustainable world.
There’s more to intentional shopping than just avoiding unnecessary sale purchases however. It’s also a way to make conscious decisions about what you are buying, instead of just browsing and picking up an item that catches your eye. It’s not trying to take the fun out of shopping, it’s just about thinking through what you really need in your wardrobe, and what you already have to wear.
For example, if the skirt that you’re eyeing up really doesn’t go with the rest of your wardrobe then you’re likely to do one of two things when you buy it:
1) hang it up and admire it from time to time, without ever wearing it.
2) buy more clothes that will match it.
If you have a new job and need some workwear, then buying multiple items to match one skirt might make sense. But if your wardrobe is already full? Is this intentional, or impulse buying?
If you shop with intent and minimalism in mind, you’ll also be making your own fashion statement out of the garments you wear. You will get complements on your clothes more often because you are sticking to a certain aesthetic. You will also never be disappointed with a purchase. By shopping intentionally, you will be spending less over all on clothing, meaning that you can splurge more often on those single high-ticket items that really make your closet something special.
Shopping intentionally isn’t just about sustainability, it is about sticking to the style and the clothes that you know you love. It’s better not just for your pocket, but it will save you from having to look at the pile of unworn clothes all of us gather up over the year. Sale rails can still be enjoyed, just at a more conscious pace. A bargain is a bargain after all.
We would love to hear about your sale hits and misses. What was the best bargain that you’ve ever found? Or the most embarrassing purchase you’ve impulsively made?
Let us know in the comments!