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Can I Be a Conscious Consumer?

4 tips to help you out while shopping to keep those post purchase blues away!

We can say a lot about Lockdown 2020, but I can confidently say my shopping habits changed in those first months. I had already been a lover for small shops before, but seeing their resilience and determination to continue selling their goods sparked a fierce loyalty in my heart. I decided from that point on that I would always strive to shop locally before resorting to Big Box, and really place thought into where and what I was spending my money on.

This change has been most prevalently felt in my closet. I no longer want clothing that after a month end up with holes or GOTTA HAVE IT items that I wear once and never touch again. So when I sit down to add a new piece to my closet, I take a few steps to ensure my money and time don't go to waste. I also asked my amazing friend Wahaj (follow her @sgw_fashionblog) for her tips on how to be a conscious consumer before hitting that checkout button.

Wahaj's Tip: Create a Gap Analysis

When you're getting ready in the morning or putting together an outfit, do you ever find yourself saying "I can't wear this outfit because I don't have X". Keep a running list of those items every time you have that thought (I have a note open on my phone). You'll eventually be able to see a trend where that piece consistently comes up as being a way to bring together an outfit full of otherwise single items. This could be a pair of white sneakers, a leather jacket, or even a bag.

Bailey's Tip: Plan Out How You Would Style It.

(Outfits featuring the LumberJill Apparel Naramata Dress in Navy. Styled casual, night out, beach/swim suit cover up, and cold weather)

Whenever I have a new clothing item in my sights, I immediately plan out outfits around it. I first start off with a quick Pinterest search of the item ("midi dress outfit", "navy dress outfit" etc) for some inspiration. From there, I head over to which is a free website where you can create outfit layouts like the ones above. This helps me visualize the piece with what I already have in my closet and gives me some go-to outfits. It also shows me how I can wear something throughout the year. The last outfit has a plain white turtle neck layered under the dress turning it from a Summer staple to a warm Fall fashion LEWK!

Wahaj's Tip: Don't Give In To The Pressure.

"LIMITED EDITION", "TIME'S RUNNING OUT", "RUN DON'T WALK". These phrases are designed to get your adrenaline pumping! And we are going to have regrets if we miss out on something, but you need to remind yourself that it's always going to come back around. You'll always end up finding something else that works, you might even find it while thrifting! Clothing is not a limited resource, it's something that is widely abundant and if you miss a launch or a pattern, try not to dwell on that feeling of let down. You'll find something again that fits your needs, and it's not worth being limited to only shopping when the stakes are the highest.

Bailey's Tip: Upgrade a Current Item.

At least every new season, I try EVERYTHING on in my closet. This is my fourth summer of being a mum and I'm in the process of phasing out pre-baby clothes that do not fit my current life. In there is a plain black swing dress that's been kicking around for at least 10 years. I tried it on and realized that it no longer serves me purpose or brings me joy. There aren't any pockets, the swing style doesn't do anything for my body, and it is stretched out at the neck. A basic, neutral dress is a staple for me so I am loving the Naramata Rib Dress as my updated version. The tank straps are wide enough for a bra, and the length is perfect for running after a pre-schooler. Plus, IT HAS POCKETS!!! This piece is locally and ethically made and puts my money right back into my community.

...But What If I Can't Buy Right Now?

The economy is tough right now. And now more than ever small businesses benefit greatly from the support of their customers. But did you know there are ways to show your favourite shops you care without spending a dime (especially if it isn't feasible for you at the moment!) Likes, comments, shares, and saves on social media help bump their exposure to other people. Tag your friends, bring them up in conversation, shout their names from the rooftops! Even stopping by booths at a market brings a smile to their faces (I LOVE meeting our customers! We'll be seeing you next at the Butterdome Spring Craft Sale in May!!)

I hope this will help you on the path to less waste in your closet and more FUN! In what ways are you making conscious decisions when you're out shopping? Leave us a comment below!

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