Happy Sunday! Today, I am sharing with you how to become a conscious consumer when you are a beauty lover, skincare guru, and fashion enthusiast. If you know me, you know that I love shopping. I love clothes, trends, makeup and, skincare. I just love things and I am everything but a minimalist. But lately, I’ve been drawn to the conscious movement. In general, one of my goals has been to become more sustainable and ethical towards my planet. I still buy from fast fashion brands and I am far from being a perfect conscious consumer. But I definitely believe I am on the right track.
If you want to know my tips on how to become a conscious consumer then keep on reading. Don’t forget to check out my previous post: 5 REASONS WHY A SUCCESSFUL CAREER SHOULD BE CENTRAL TO YOUR WELLNESS STRATEGY.
Small disclaimer: in this post, I will not tackle food consumption because it’s not really related to what I want to talk about. But I’ll definitely write a separate post about it because the meat and dairy industry is TOXIC!
How To Become A Conscious Consumer
What is a conscious consumer?
“Conscious consumerism is when buying practices are driven by a commitment to making purchasing decisions that have positive social, economic, and environmental impacts” (Grow Ensemble). A conscious consumer is basically someone who is conscious of their consumption. They think about the impact of their purchase, decide whether this consumption is worth it or not and make a choice that aligns with their values and beliefs.
Conscious consumerism dates back from the 1950s but became more prominent “as more and more consumers became more aware of harsh realities related to each purchase such as climate change and pollution, as well as grossly underpaid workers with poor working conditions”.
Where To Start?
Start slow and track your purchases
My first recommendation to start as a conscious consumer is to start slow and track your purchases. When I started being more conscious of what I spent and the impact it had on the environment and our society, I decided to start controlling what I purchased. In my calendar, I kept a record of all of my purchases and at the end of the month, I’d reflect on those purchases. This helped me realize how bad my shopping addiction was and how most of the things I purchased weren’t needed at all. Furthermore, starting slow when you’ve been over-consuming most of your life is key. Because then, you won’t see the change as a burden and you’ll definitely get more used to it.
Incorporate a little bit of minimalism in your life
The next tip on my list is to incorporate a little bit of minimalism in your life. A minimalist way of living is to distinguish between what is necessary and what is not. Minimalism is about living in simplicity and utility. It’s about living with less. While I do not agree with what the movement stands for and how it’s being represented by most influencers, at its core, minimalism is right. That is why I believe everyone should add it to their lifestyle one way or another. I follow the minimalist point of view when it concerns skincare and makeup. For example, I only buy the skincare products I judge necessary. I am not going to buy 3 serums for three different days. Or, I am not going to buy two bronzers because one is shimmery and the other one is matte. It’s just unnecessary in my point of view. I am also trying to become more minimalist when it concerns clothes, but I am not there yet.
Eliminate Impulse Buying
Easier said than done, I know, but the next recommendation I have to become a conscious consumer is to eliminate impulse buying. Look, I work at H&M and I am surrounded by clothes 3 days of the week. The first year I started working, it was a deathbed for my wallet, especially that I only purchased things on impulse, not because I actually needed new things. So my advice to you is not to follow your impulse and every time you want something, wait a couple of weeks before indulging in a purchase, just to see if you still want it. The best way for me to overcome impulse buying is to actually talk to myself and not buy it directly.
The next advice ties directly up to impulse buying and that is temptation. You can decide to eliminate temptation altogether or to just overcome it, which is what I am trying to do. Some ways you can remove temptation is to disable notifications from online shops, unfollow brands on social media, unsubscribe to email lists, or not walk around stores just to look at things. That last one is actually the worst. I mean when I go to an online store just to look at things, I always end up wanting things I never knew existed or even wanted in the first place. Moreover, avoiding staying on my phone when I am bored is extremely helpful to deal with that because there is temptation everywhere on social media. So instead, I read a book, meditate, or watch a movie.
Repurpose packaging and products
This next piece of advice is my favorite and that is to give a second life to your old things and things you don’t want anymore. That advice is perfect as well to avoid buying new products or clothes. For instance, instead of buying new PJs, just use old t-shirts as nightwear. Personally, as PJs, I wear an old tank top and my boyfriend’s boxer. It does the job. This tip also pushes you to be more creative. For example, you can use old candles to store reusable cotton rounds or old skincare products for storage or plant pots. I even use an expired face cream for my hands and foot. To be honest with you, I have a very specific home decor style and I hate the look of DIY. I want things to look neat and elegant but I think repurposing is awesome and you can easily make it fit to your aesthetic. Your imagination is the limit.
Go for Reusable products and Reduce your Plastic Consumption
My next tip goes hand in hand with the previous one and that is to go for reusable products such as reusable bags, utensils, cotton rounds, and straws and to reduce your plastic consumption in general. Anything that you can use multiple times is considered more sustainable for the planet. For example, in my skincare routine, I have banished completely makeup wipes and instead, I use micellar water and a reusable cloth to remove my makeup. I also avoid cotton rounds and have switched my plastic toothbrush to a bamboo one that is compostable. I have also started using bar soaps and natural loofahs to reduce my plastic consumption in the bathroom. These are some examples you can adopt to live more sustainably.
Think Before Buying
The next tip on my list is pretty obvious and simple I think and it is to think before buying something. Before purchasing something, I always ask myself three questions: “Do I have something similar? Am I going to wear or use it often? Do I actually need it?” These questions allow me to rethink my impulses or what I want to buy. Most of the time, the things I wish to purchase fail to answer these questions and I never end up buying them and never regret my decision.
Shop thrifted when you can
I know that shopping second-hand is not everyone’s favorite thing. I actually rarely buy used clothes because I never find something that goes with my personal style or that even fits me. But you can definitely shop a couple of items that you need like a night robe, an oversized shirt, board games, or even decorative items and kitchen supplies like plates and cups. I buy most of my decorations from thrift stores because I always find hidden gems like vintage mirrors or vintage candle holders that are too beautiful to be abandoned. You can literally find anything in thrift stores so I highly recommend checking one out. I also wish to add that most of the items I bought from thrift stores were in excellent condition. In fact, I am always shocked when I see how much stuff people donate that is still new. It’s actually amazing, I am very happy that people are donating instead of throwing, which brings me to my next point and that is to donate your old clothes.
Donate your Old Stuff
I always thought that donating was an automatic response in people’s minds but apparently it’s not. Hence, my next tip for you is to donate your old clothes/things instead of throwing them. This tip is amazing because you are not only giving a second life to this item, but you are also offering someone the opportunity to use that item. An item that they may need and that you don’t.
Shop ethical when you can
My next piece of advice is to shop ethically when you can. And I say “when you can” because I know that ethical and sustainable brands are very expensive sometimes and I find it very harsh to judge people for not buying ethical when one shampoo costs 60$.
Before buying anything from Fast fashion brands or unethical makeup/skincare brands, I always try to see if I can find something from an ethical company For instance, I recently purchased a lunch box from an ethical brand. It was expensive, but I knew it would last me a long time. Moreover, I always try to purchase my bath products from a local Quebec store next to my house. They have different types of hand-made products at a good affordable price, like toothbrushes, towels, physical exfoliators, bar soaps, and more. Fun fact: the owner of the store is actually a witch.
On another note, I did publish an article about my favorite ethical skincare brands, some of them are very affordable. So make sure to check that blog post out!
Reduce your water and electricity consumption
The last piece of advice is not actually related to fashion, makeup, or skincare but I thought it was important for me to add and that is to reduce your electricity and water consumption. I am very surprised that there are still some people who are not mindful of their water and electricity consumption. For me, it’s like the basis of living a sustainable life. I didn’t even want to add it because I thought everybody knew about it. But apparently not and that is okay.
On a more important note, how can you actually reduce your water and electricity consumption? Some examples of the things you can do are to: turn off the light and unplug things when you are not using them, don’t let the water run if you’re not using it, take shorter showers, do your laundry with cold water, and don’t use a drier (air dry your clothes instead). These are very simple and easy things to do on a daily basis but they make a big difference especially when you pair them with all of the things that I mentioned above.
I do believe that if each and every one of us does a little bit of everything, we’ll be able to live on a more healthy planet and society.
How To Become A Conscious Consumer
That’s it for today. Thank you so much for passing by and I hope you enjoyed reading this post. If you did, don’t forget to give it a ‘like’ and to subscribe to my blog.