The slow shopping movement and how to master it.

I couldn’t help but wonder how much I spent for clothes, shoes and accessories!

When I look back at my late 20s years old me, I couldn’t help but wonder how many money and time I have spent shopping for clothes, shoes and accessories and how my after-purchase happiness never lasted for more than a day.
Not only that. The new addition used to often bring more chaos to my wardrobe thanks to colours that, not even if blinded by the sun, I would now ever imagine combining.
And I have always thought I was just doing fine when it came to fashion, ah!

So what happened then? How did I change my perspective and started to move towards what I can define slow shopping?

First of all, what is slow shopping? Many things.
I found an article by The Apartment Therapy that describes slow shopping as a strategy put in places by some stores.
The tactic consists in offering you a coffee and make you feel comfortable so, instead of you walking away after a minute or two, you will be roaming around and will probably be more inclined to try and buy.

Although this is how I’d LOVE to be treated every time I go shopping, slow shopping, as I intend it, doesn’t now reflect this concept. Not only at least.

The slow shopping movement and how to master it: the concept.

A perfect dress, 8 years of life and parties after. Good quality counts.

Let me go back to my 20 (well, even 30) years old me.
I was constantly buying new pieces for my closet and regularly complaining I had nothing to wear.
I lived in the eternal indecision in front of a full and uncoordinated wardrobe. However, I began to pare down my closet to only the best possible items.

When I was living in Dublin, someone talked me through the cons of fast-fashion and I have started to document myself a bit more.
Now it’s all in the newspapers and you can find tons of information about the topic: back in 2007, it wasn’t easy to understand was it all about.

In 2011 I became a mother and started to notice the difference between fabrics and their quality, especially because P has sensitive skin.
Zara, the fast-fashion company, was off the table for us, for example.
Why and how a piece of fabric could cause such a reaction to the human skin?

In 2013, the disaster of Rana Plaza, open the eyes of millions of people and finally part of the truth of fast fashion emerged in front of public opinion.

Now I know a bit more what is going on within the fashion industry.
Today I have a clearer idea of what has more sense to buy and why, although information is sometimes tricky to be read.

Has this knowledge prevented me from having the neatest closet? No.
I re-organized my wardrobe SO many times!  
Just to let you know, I have written a recent article about this: just because I was re-ordering my closet for the entire family!
I continued to buy unpaired things during the learning process but now I am definitely on the good path and I am happy about it.

While I was learning, I noticed that some specific things helped me to change direction in my shopping.
Today I would like to share them with you.

A scarf bought in Rome back in 2003, can you believe it! It is still perfect.

The slow shopping movement and how to master it: 
4 things to keep in mind.

1.Know what you want to buy
If you make a list of what is really needed, it will be a lot easier to escape the lurking feeling that presents itself every time you enter a shop.
At least this what happened to me. Sometimes still happens.
I’ve just got a purse by Coccinelle only because it matches perfectly with my scarf (and my new wallet). Humans, baby.
Now I still love to go shopping but it is targeted.
I need trousers, I focus on trousers.
A list will save you time, money and, honestly, lots of improbable pairings.

2.Buy what you really like
Now you have your list and it feels legit to buy a pair of trousers, at all costs. Because you need them and they’re on the list. Nope.
Try them on and buy what makes you fall in love.
Don’t buy because they’re ok. You will want another pair in less than a month.

3.Buy mindfully
There are many factors to consider when it comes to mindful shopping: sustainability, fair trade, ethical fashion, slow fashion and so on.
I have written already about sustainability and you can find my post here.
For example, while sustainability calls for a more positive environmental impact by the fashion industry (one example, how the production of clothes affect the environment), quality has to do with the sourcing of fabrics and the production of the garments.

I would certainly like to always find both good quality and sustainable, ethical pieces when I shop but sometimes this does not happen.
I mostly focus on the quality of fibres as this factor will usually be a warranty of longer durability and better comfort.
You need to think about your priorities, of course.

Just remember: all these aspects are sometimes intertwined, although unique.
Anyways, you will be more likely to find brands that will offer sustainable clothes made of good quality fibres. Therefore, if I can give you a suggestion, start looking for the opposite of fast fashion labels. It seems silly but it’s already a good start.

4.Buy on sales
If you decide to slow shop too, and therefore aim at good quality clothes produced with good practises, you may want to wait for sales, as I do.

Undeniably, and rightly so, higher standard comes with higher prices. If you, like me, are a normal person, you can concentrate your purchases when promotions or special offers are on.

Consider also to buy previous collections or simply second hand.
I cannot afford a 400 euro sweater but I bought one discounted up to 180 during the sales. It’s always a lot of money but I can buy one sweater instead of three at lower quality, right?

I became better during the years and. If you just started to be more mindful and intentional with your purchases, remember it is a long trial-and-error path. And that’s ok! There is a lot along the way but a huge plus will be greeting you one nice morning.
Yes, because one good damn advantage is waking up and knowing that in 5 minutes, whatever you choose, you will be able to dress without wasting time and feel comfortable.
Wait, I push this further: you’ll feel fabulous! ’cause there’s nothing better than being thoughtful and awesome at the same time.

This week, I had the honour to collaborate with Angela of @con.cosa.lo.metto
On her Stories, you can see how to buy different types of fabric and how to recognise their quality.
Angela is doing a terrific job to help understand how to pair our clothes better, how to make the most of the clothes we love and how to make the most out of our body shapes. I really recommend you to follow her this week and in the coming ones.

I would love to know more about the brands you love and why.
Share the names with me using the hashtag #theartofslowsipping
We can find out more together about their quality and sustainability.

I wish you another wonderful week, thanks for reading.
xo, Chiara

About the author
Hi, I’m Chiara, an Italian landed in Zürich in 2011. I like to help people finding their way to the sustainable use of social media, without sacrificing results. I like to write about mindfulness and all things real.

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