Fashion conscious – things to think about before you shop

conscious shopping

There’s a few things you should think about next time you go shopping. Image via Adobe Stock.

More and more we are becoming conscious of the impact that our choices have on the environment. When it comes to clothing, unless you’re a whizz with a sewing machine (I am most definitely not!) then you’ll probably need to shop for clothes at some point. So how can we ensure that we minimise the impact of our wardrobes? Here are a few things to think about before you shop.

Take stock of your closet
Wearing what we already have in our closet rather than buying something new is always going to be the best option. Some people have capsule wardrobes, mixing and matching a select number of curated pieces. If this is you, and you already know what you’re working with, that’s great! Not me – my closet is bulging at the seams, full of long forgotten treasures just waiting to be rediscovered. If your wardrobe is a bit like mine, now is a great time to take stock of what you’ve got, and actually start wearing it. If you need a bit of help, I strongly suggest getting in a great personal stylist for a wardrobe edit.

Outfit repeater
The idea that it’s unfashionable to wear the same outfit more than once is so outdated. We all want to get the best bang for our buck, and making sure we get lots of wear from our clothes is a good way we can do that! When you’re taking stock of what is in your closet, think about how different pieces can be worn together. How you can change the styling? What accessories you have to switch up a look? But also, if you find a way of styling an outfit that you really love, by all means wear it again and again!

Buy second-hand
There are some great second-hand bargains to be found out there. While finding secondhand options in op shops may be a little trickier in plus sizes (especially if you’re over a size 18), there are other places to look. Check out pre-loved stores that specialise in plus size like Curated Curves and Curve Collective NZ, jump on Trade Me, or check out Facebook buy/sell groups. Remember to put your good condition pre-loved pieces that you no longer wear out there too (once you’ve taken stock of your wardrobe, perhaps?). Keep the secondhand loop going!

Hire it out
Instead of buying a new dress for an event, how about hiring one? This is not just kinder to the environment, it’s also kinder to your wallet. Weddings, parties, graduation… having a dreamy outfit on loan for a special occasion is a great way to expand your wardrobe without the outlay of buying them all yourself. Some places to look at include One Fit Hire (size 6-26), Luxe Curves NZ (size 18-28), and The Curve Closett (size 12-28).

Shop consciously
When it comes to actually buying clothes, there’s a lot to consider. Who made it, what’s it made from, there’s a whole bunch of questions around ethical practices and sustainability – not to mention other things like cost and sizing. But one more thing we should be adding into the mix is do you need it? My previously mentioned closet of long forgotten treasures is a pretty good indication that I’ve not been particularly conscious of my shopping in the past. However this year I’ve been trying to be a lot more aware of what I buy.

Some of the questions you could ask are:
● Do I already have something like this? Or will it be just another black midi dress to add to the five I already have?
● Are there at least five other things in my wardrobe that I can wear with it?
● Will I wear this over and over?
● Is it something I actually want, or am I buying it because it’s on sale?

Meagan Kerr also writes at This is Meagan Kerr.