Many people these days have concerns over the environment, and a lot of older adults are keen to do their bit for the green cause. There are many ways in which you can do this, including adjusting your shopping habits.
Of course, we all need to shop for things, whether it is groceries, clothing, or purchases for the home. However, how you shop can have an impact on your contribution to the environment.
Our shopping habits have already changed dramatically over the years. For example, many people are committed to buying locally and buying from charity shops has become a growing trend over recent years. In addition, vast numbers of people now go online to shop rather than going out to make purchases.
Shopping for Fashion: How Can We Be More Sustainable?
When it comes to fashion, there are many ways these days in which you can shop sustainably. Thanks to advancements in technology, you don’t even have to leave your home to make purchases. This is ideal for older people who prefer to enjoy their time. It means you don’t have to waste time looking for parking followed by tackling crowds in shops and joining endless queues.
One of the easiest ways to shop sustainably is to go online. By doing this, you can benefit from the ease and convenience of being able to make purchases from the comfort and privacy of your own home. It also means that you can shop at any time of the day or night to suit you.
Also, you won't be adding to air pollution and environmental damage by getting behind the wheel to go shopping. With online shopping, both you and the environment can benefit.
Eco-expert and sustainability coach Georgina Caro told us: "Before you buy anything stop and think about whether you really need that product or item. Do you already have something similar at home that could do the job?
"It's helpful to consider the 9 R's before you make any purchases: Rethink, Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Re-gift, Repair, Rent, Recycle & Rot. Rethink your lifestyle and how you can make it more sustainable. Refuse anything that you don't really need. Reduce the amount you do need. Reuse items as much as possible. Re-gift items that you no longer need. Repair broken items to reuse them again. Rent items from others rather than buy new. Recycle anything that can be recycled and rot the rest in your home compost.
"In order to become more sustainable, you have to first rethink your lifestyle. Aim to buy less but buy better. Spend more money on good quality products that will last you longer and won't need to be replaced as often.
"If you do need to buy something do your research online first. Can you find a more sustainable alternative for the item you need? Check out the company's sustainability credentials. If they don't have any on their website email them to find out."
How Can I Shop Sustainably Online?
Many people ask themselves ‘how can I dress more sustainably’ these days. There are various things you can do, and the following steps can provide you with tips and inspiration.
Determine Your Needs
As we get older, we tend to find that we already have much of what we need, and this is also true when it comes to clothing. You may find that you go out less than you used to and that your wardrobe is already packed with a variety of fashion items and accessories.
So, one of the things you need to do is to ask yourself whether you really need to make the purchase in the first place. By doing this, you can do your bit for the environment and save money.
Consider the Materials
If you decide you do need to purchase clothing, you should make sure you check the materials used to make the items before you add them to your cart. You can do this very easily online, so you can quickly determine whether garments are made from natural or synthetic fibres.
Aim to buy items made from materials such as cotton, linen, and wool. Choosing materials such as nylon or polyester means that you will be buying items that have been created with the use of chemicals.
Research the Manufacturer
Another thing you can do when you shop online for clothing is to check out the manufacturer and see whether they are committed to sustainable practices. You will find that some fashion brands are far more committed to the green cause than others.
Some of them already have sustainability strategies in place, such as promoting recycling and researching eco-friendly materials. By opting for brands that support and commit to sustainability, you will find it much easier to be eco-friendly when it comes to fashion.
Consider Second-Hand Items
In today’s digital world, people find it quick, easy, and convenient to sell their unwanted clothes online on sites such as eBay. You can really benefit from this because it means you can get some serious fashion bargains. It also means you can get your hands on some unique fashion items, including vintage fashion.
More importantly, it allows you to shop more sustainably for your clothes, so there are lots of benefits that come with buying second-hand. Of course, another advantage is that you can save yourself a lot of money.
Think About Delivery
Many people who shop online are looking for instant gratification, and this means that they often want the items they order as quickly as possible. As a result, a lot of online shoppers request express delivery even if it means paying extra, as this then means they can get the item much faster.
However, unless there is real urgency, it is best to avoid this because it means that a special delivery has to be arranged. Instead, choose the standard eco-friendly option, so it is sent with regular deliveries. It also means you save on the often eye-watering cost of express delivery.
Don’t Make Assumptions
One thing you should never do when it comes to shopping for fashion is to make assumptions about what is eco-friendly and what is not. A lot of people assume buying brand name clothing at sky-high prices means the items must be eco-friendly.
Bear in mind that this is not necessarily the case. Famous brands are not famed for their sustainable practices. In fact, some are known for their severe lack of sustainability when it comes to their fashion items.
Think About Versatility
When you are buying clothing for a particular event or occasion, don’t just buy something that is only good for a single wear. Instead, look for styles and designs that are versatile that you can wear for different events and occasions.
By doing this, you won’t have to shop for clothes as much. You will have outfits that you can wear repeatedly or that you can mix and match. It also means that you will save money in the long run.
Simple Steps to Sustainable Shopping
As you can see, it is quite simple these days to shop more sustainably. The steps outlined above can help you to do this, and in many cases, can also help you to reduce the amount you spend on fashion. Not only does the environment benefit from your sustainable shopping practices; so does your pocket!