My Journey to Conscious Consumption Part 4
My goal; to be so aware of my thoughts that I do not spend without distinct purpose.
The final part of a conscious consumer diary.
By Alexandra Apple
Salon owner, Hairstylist, certified colorist
3648 A Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Montréal
I see quitting as a positive thing, I challenge myself as a way to learn, not just to succeed perfectly and while I’ve been teetering between failing and following my plan, I’ve reached a summit.
Heres what I’ve learnt from TRYING to actually stick to a 150$ a week entertainment & shopping budget.
- Trying IS a conscious thought process. For me right now that is exactly enough. It’s gotten me out of blind purchases and at the very least extremely aware of why I bought everything I did (whether good or bad.)
- 150$ goes rediculously fast 💨 it can break down as Starbucks 7 days a week, and one dinner night out. one local made product with no social spending. 2–3 fast fashion items and a couple lunches or The money can stick around and double by buying nothing for a full week.
- Not window shopping is key. I’ve been turned off of fast fashion for a while now, mostly inspired by the fact I always feel brainwashed to buy trendy items I hate 2 weeks later. And this budget didn’t tempt me.
- Fashionable pedestrians are usually just regular people in brand new outfits. I’ve become crazy aware of how often I equate a new outfit to a person with good personal style. Usually I see a person in a brand new outfit and I feel like I want to look “that good” and so I want to buy something to level up. But really I’m seeing it for what it is now, a person in a new outfit. Less triggering when I see it that way. I also try n guess how much they spent just to put it in perspective.
- Local luxuries are my new wishlist. I noticed I’m really into higher priced items lately and it can be that with age I’m liking the finer things in life. But maybe it’s Instagram? Maybe it’s wanting to feel successful or look a certain way? I’m not really sure, it could be a mix of things, but in general I’m rarely swooning over items under 100$ unless I’m at a thrift store or shopping for a T-shirt.
- Ditch social & online shopping! Looking at things “for fun/Inspo” It’s just too tempting! I keep asking myself when I buy something “ what are the chances I would buy this had I not ever been online?” And sadly the answer is often zero! Which feels silly but also supportive of small International business? I don’t know yet how I feel about it.
- Credit cards are the devil - just dont! I caught myself many times using it while telling myself “just transfer the money when your paid next week” . But if I’m honest I’ve said that 3 times by now which means I’m 3 weeks ahead in my budget which means I’m actually behind.
- Enforce one day to shop per month! I got in the bad habit of constantly browsing out of boredom and well, you will most always find something you didn’t know you “needed”
- Thrift, Local, then box store. On shop once a month day, hit up a thrift store first! Whatever I “need” that I don’t find, I can buy in a local boutique. Or a box store if I still haven’t gotten it.
- Limiting my clothing items to a capsule wardrobe, so I have to stick to the one in, one out rule. However I find this very hard with so many weather shifts in montreal! But it’s worth a shot?
The biggest thing on my on my mind is, how can I find a balance? There’s something motivating about shopping, it gives me this feeling of getting stuff done, when in reality nothing of true value has been done. But buying new items and hunting new stuff makes me want to make more money and enjoy my items and work more and continue this weird cycle. While some people find that sad, there is value to it when your buying items from passionate people. It also sometimes makes me wonder would I prefer a vacation than _______ item? Sometimes yes and sometimes no. I can’t deny that psychologically wearing a new outfit helps me feel different. There is value to that too, I get to know myself better and have fun playing different me’s.
There’s an unfortunate side effect to shopping local, when items are more expensive and I want them to last and be something I wear for a long time, I don’t want to buy anything too trendy. Therefore I buy classics, but then I feel a bit boring and basic. This is where refining my personal style is key. This is something I think with age that we become better at, but trends always fuck us up and get us trying something new! Which is good, because our comfort zone is dangerous anyway.
Until just recently when online shopping out of boredom, I ended up buying from Aritzia. I hadn’t felt the need to shop chain store in a while but I am embracing gratitude and trying to still see fast fashion for what it is. If I purchase it, I just reflect on who might have made it, where it comes from and how buying this item supports a chain, the employees that work there, the manufacturer and the women who usually get rediculously underpaid to make it. Awareness is key, thinking of everyone involved, helps me make sure I really want the item, that I’ll wear it for a while and that it’s not just “an item”.
I hope to create another challenge soon, but for now I’m going to stay conscious. Work on refining my personal style and probably come back in the fall with a new perspective and new challenge.