Let’s Talk About my Poor Shopping Habits

So, these past few weeks have helped me realize that I have a major shopping addiction. I mean, out of the various addictions I could have, shopping isn’t terribly awful, except for when it closely impacts my checking account.

Now, I realize that addiction may be too strong of a word to describe my shopping habits so I’ll call my addiction something along the lines of this: poor shopping habits; plus, that phrasing has less of a bite and doesn’t hurt as much when you’re explaining to your friend how you were a little bad in going over your shopping budget for the month. 

Upon realizing how poorly my shopping habits have gotten, I decided to take more deliberate action and up my awareness of my shopping purchases and decisions. 

One way I have started to work on my shopping addiction is by being more conscious of the things I decide to purchase.

To do this, I make wish lists of items that pique my interest and/or have the potential to generate an array of outfit possibilities within my wardrobe. Wish lists are also good for exactly what their title entails – wish lists. I have found that wish lists are excellent ways to virtually window shop and admire clothes that I may have had my heart set out on from a respective distance, my bank account out of harm’s way. Additionally, I have found that when I give my self time and space away from my wish lists it helps me concentrate on items I may truly want and help eliminate silly, impulsive, thoughtless, and careful unconsidered purchases. 

Another way I have cut back on my shopping is by telling myself that it is okay not to have a particular top or a certain pair of jeans with little fringe detailing on the back pockets (and yes, they are the pure definition of western done right); I have to remember that there are limitations to the things I want and that by not purchasing certain clothing items or jumping on every sale my eyes dance with, I build upon personal areas of myself like self-control and trusting my intuition, reasoning, and decisions. 

Moreover, the time in which we live is designed to make us (especially me) want, want, want. We live in consumer and consumption culture, and the influence of social media is no help. Therefore, I have to remind myself not to fall for the trap of being an easily moved consumer. I have purchasing power and my money can go to an array of things, people, and organizations that I may gain something much greater from. 

Finally, I have to remember that the clothing industry in particular has a devastating impact on the environment from dyes composed of toxic chemicals, air, and soil pollution from the burning of garments to their filling up of landfills. Because of these factors and many more, that I will not discuss in great detail, (there are plenty of sources, articles, and documentaries on the clothing industry already circulating throughout the web), I am trying to select clothing from brands and companies that are more conscious and ethical when it comes to producing garments. (Note: fast fashion is not always one’s friend and thrifting can be a heavenly gift sent from a divine realm!) The best part about my choosing to be more selective in my clothing purchases when it comes to ethic or sustainability is that I don’t have to worry too much about draining my funds when choosing to make a more conscious choice! Ethical based clothing can be as affordable as a $10 top from H&M’s conscious line. 

I think it is important to acknowledge areas where we can improve upon, even if those areas don’t effect and/or impact us personally. It just so happens that my poor shopping habits impact me directly and also impacts the world in which I live in. (Let’s not forget the companies and manufacturers that aren’t the most ethical in terms of labor but that’s another google exploration.) In choosing to be more conscious of my purchasing habits, decisions, and choices, I am choosing to look at the ways in which my habits effect people, places, and environments that may be foreign to me but still a part of my life whether I know it or not.