Karishma Gulyani

Karishma is a science nerd turned fashion and beauty writer who loves talking about trends as much as eating desserts. Gucci, salted caramel ice-cream, jewels, and Simba (her dog) make up four chambers of her heart. Like Karishma's story? Drop her a line in the comments section below. .

The Ideals Of Shopping With Respect To Consumption And Sustainability

Reduce, Rediscover & Restyle

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Image Courtesy: Refinery29, Illustration by Elin Svensson

Well, we all know how fast-paced digital technology dramatically changed ‘how’ we shop, but the pandemic has speeded up the inevitable reformation of ‘why’ and ‘where’ we shop. And this reform put the spotlight on mindful shopping and sustainability – they aren’t just fanciful words anymore. But what exactly do they mean? And how are they connected to our consumption patterns? To be honest, they have as many definitions as they are people in the world. Like, we believe sustainability isn’t just restricted to the use of organic fabric and natural dyes, but sustaining the craft and livelihoods of artisans, sustaining the people who you work with, and sustaining each distinctive point of view is all the more central to the codes of sustainability. While ‘mindful shopping’ would possibly be the most perfect oxymoron, it is all about consuming less, but feeling more comfort and joy without the sugar high from the cart full of impulse buys, courtesy of the very essential 3R of mindful shopping i.e. Reduce, Rediscover and Restyle. In case you are wondering how this shifts our relationship with consumption, we have put down the improved ideals of shopping to help you navigate the conundrums of meaningful purchase.

  • It all begins from your closet. But firstly, scroll through your phone’s camera roll for all the past outfits documented, else there’s always Instagram. This’ll help you rediscover the outfits/items from weeks, months, or years ago, which you can upcycle and/or restyle depending upon your current style language. To put it simply, switch on your REPEAT MODE. And make sure to keep a note of what your wardrobe lacks to help create a more cohesive wardrobe without the guilt of compulsive buys.
  • With all of us spending most of our time at home, there isn’t a better time than now to learn the art of mending and upcycling, especially since it has been a longstanding ritual in possibly every Indian home. From patchwork to applique, from buttons to brooches – you’ll find many elements to turn up your old garments into something fresh and fun. And being on the journey of upcycling not just restores the relevance of your beautiful treasured pieces, but keeps a check on your fashion footprint as well.
  • In case you are feeling that shopping itch, think pre-love and vintage first, after all, they stand strong on the ethos of mindful consumption while serving some of the most coveted fashion pieces. And you can find the treasure guide for a complete vintage experience here. Else, you can also have clothing swaps among family and friends to supplement distinctive items in your closet and give a second life to the pieces that you no longer require. Not to forget, your mother and grandmothers’ wardrobes are always there to pick and choose from many of their cherished and one-of-a-kind pieces.
  • If you are still looking for options to shop with much more intention and meaning, focus your attention (and well, wallet!) on local designers/brands, after all, what we purchase and who we purchase from can make a big difference. And even if you are trying to curb your purchases, you can still be #VocalForLocal by engaging with your favourite brands on digital platforms and promoting them amongst your social circle. On that note, here are a few of our favourite Indian fashion and beauty brands: Lune, Torani, Eka, Enn’s Closet, Disguise Cosmetics, Fizzy Goblet, Something Sustainable, and Oceedee.
    (Don’t forget to share your favourites in the comments below)
  • Lastly, learn more about your favourite local and global brands. Understand where they stand on sustainability, labour conditions, material sourcing and waste. And it’s always worth keeping a periodic check as their efforts and initiatives taken could evolve over time, plus this’ll help you understand in case any brand is practicing greenwashing. For a broader understanding of sustainability codes, make Fashion Revolution and Good On You your go-to resources. And next time you go shopping, remember where the priorities of your favourite brands lie. While we are at shop talk, set yourself a reminder this holiday sale season that the real joy lies in spending on experiences rather than unnecessary sale purchase – else that’s just additional holiday guilt.

P.S. This isn’t about being an absolute perfect consumer, but it would do a lot of good to the planet and the people if we could even be a little more better as a consumer.

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