Eight questions to ask yourself before buying new clothing
What are the materials composing this garment?
Materials and their production process have a crucial impact on our environment. Natural fibres such as silk, wool or linen are a good start, even better if they are organic or certified (read our articles about sustainable wool and peace silk here). Synthetic materials such as polyester or nylon must be recycled, as petrochemical origins are devastating for the planet.
Where and how was it made?
Can you identify in which country or factory this garment has been produced? Are there pictures of the ateliers or official documents attesting that workers are paid correctly throughout the supply chain? All this information will help you understand if the clothing you want respects human rights.
Is it certified?
While this is not an absolute guarantee, a certification can help you check if your clothing has ecological and social properties. Read our article on sustainable certifications to know about reliable labels.
Who will receive the money from this purchase?
When we buy something, we support a business or even a corporate group. While supporting small and ethical businesses feels great, make sure that this cute brand you just discovered isn’t actually owned by a bigger group also funding much more polluting businesses. This information, although not displayed, is always available on Google. By checking this, you can make sure your money will support projects that match your values.
ABOUT YOUR OWN DECISION
Do I need it?
First and foremost, what use will you have of this clothing? Are you sure you do not have something that already looks like it? Making sure of this first requirement allows you to pick your clothing wisely and not have to return or waste it.
Why do I want this item?
Is this pair of boots perfect for your style, or do you want it because you saw them beautifully styled on an Instagram post? Here is a useful tip to make sure you actually like a fashion piece and that a trend doesn’t dictate your appreciation: wait for a few weeks (or even months!) before buying it. If you still really like the garment a month after seeing it, this is a good indicator.
Will I wear it at least 30 times?
This tip was invented by Livia Firth, an activist who dedicates her work to fair fashion and sustainability. It helps you see if this garment matches your style and will be a useful addition to your closet. And if you really need it but know you will not wear it much (for a wedding, for example), maybe renting a piece or borrowing something from a friend’s wardrobe can be a less expensive and more ecological choice?
Does it go with the rest of my wardrobe?
To make sure this purchase won’t send you on an endless shopping spree, make sure that it matches your other garments, and you will be able to create beautiful outfits with it! This will also help you see if the clothing you want truly corresponds to your style.