How to develop healthy buying habits?

Dear friends,

How has your stay home period been?

Did you manage to do things that you enjoyed doing while you stayed at home? Or you're completely lost and bored with the current situation?

Before you continue reading,  I have a small exercise for you to practice by asking yourself 6 simple questions:

1. What made you smile today?
2. Name a taste or flavour that makes you happy
3. Describe a happy moment from your week
4. Describe one thing you're really good at
5. Describe something you do every day that you're grateful for
6. Finish this sentence. Today was wonderful because...

These are the questions from kikki.K GRATITUDE CONVERSATION STARTERS that I hope it will help you to embrace gratitude, see things with a different lens and cheer you up a little bit.

When I write my blog,  I'll always spend time to read books and experiment on my own before I release my findings to the public. While reading on the topic of the fashion supply chain, the process from consumer needs to the setup of retail stores, I can clearly visualize the entire process of how Brand A or Brand C works. And I also see the missing link, which I can't help to ask "what is the cycle of us as consumers from purchasing to decluttering?" If we're talking about conscious buying, how can we as consumers break the curse creating waste in the process of decluttering?

What is an unhealthy buying habit?
Buying what you think you love and decluttering what you think you used to love. This process is inevitable in every one of us. It is necessary because only through experience that we will know what works for us and what doesn't. It should never be a case of being addicted to the process and see it as a norm.

Learn what makes you comfortable and what's not
Do keep a fashion journal to jot down the types of fabric that will bring comfort to your skin, the brand, the story behind making your clothes and etc. This will allow you to make speedy decisions and filter the brands which don't align with your values.

Break the curse
Clothing is our second skin, therefore renaming them as your best friend will remind you to take responsibility as take good care of them. Tapping on my own experiences, I came up with steps to encourage you to do your part to reduce the waste.

So here are the steps to develop a healthy buying habit. It does not only apply to the purchase of clothes but to every and any purchase you make, just by changing the context of the question.

Ask these questions before you decide to buy:

1. Do I really need this?
2. Do I feel comfortable when I wear this?
3. Does it fit me well?
4. How is the material? (read the garment label) Is it suitable for my body?
5. How is the finishing? Are they well-made?
6. Is this outfit friendly enough to pair with the other outfits in my wardrobe?
7. Is this outfit a timeless piece that will serve me for a long time to come?
8. Is this a high maintenance outfit that will require lots of experts washing and care?
9. (you fill in the blank)

Tabao-ed (armed) with these questions, you will know how to get yourself prepared before going for retail therapy.

01. Get your question (above) ready before you go out for shopping

02. Bring your own bag

If the recycle bag is not to your fancy, search for a bag that you will be proud to bring along with you when you're out shopping.

03. Handwash your "best friends"

Back to Step 01, you'll need to read and understand your garment label before you make your purchase because you want to know what is the correct temperature of the water and detergent to use to clean them well. From my personal experience, I would recommend Seventh Generation to protect both your hands and your "best friend".

04. Air drying your "best friend"

Let the air and sun do the job for you.

05. Ironing your "best friends" 

Ironing is a great practice to memorize each of your "best friend" and their unique characteristics.
The outcome of ironing: you'll become the master of reading the garment labels.

For ironing reference you can read my previous blog:
click the link to Know your fabric: Natural Fibre
and here to Know your fabric: Manmade Fibre

06. Store your "best friends" well

The place that I reside has high humidity. Therefore a natural dehumidifier like bamboo charcoal will help to prevent mould and yellow stains. For additional protection, natural herbs like lavender and citrus essences and dried pandan leaf will help keep your wardrobe fresh while preventing your "best friends" being eaten by cockroaches, silverfish or clothe moth.

07. Wear your "best friends" often

If each of us were given 60 years to live, we will have spent almost 50% of our life energy to work in exchange for money to pay for everything, including our "best friends". Those are our blood and sweat earned money in exchange for something that we like.  The only way that we can fully make use of it is to wear it as much as we could, to reward ourselves.

08. Care for your "best friends"

This is another beautiful way of saying "thank you, my friend, you've served me well" by breaking the decluttering curse - the fear to embrace flaws.  Every "best friend" deserves a second chance for a second life, if only you allow them to. Through care, you can keep your "best friend" a little longer by channelling your life money to other more essential items in your life.

From Healthy buying map to Unhealthy buying map, the major difference between these 2 maps is the connection of one's own behaviour to their belongings.

I liked how Jim Kwik said, "Information combined with emotion, becomes a long term memory." By making a conscious choice to take full responsibility from buying, washing, air drying, ironing, storing and caring, you are planting a seed of love to make everything last longer.

Thank you, farmers, who grow their own natural fibres. I will cherish what you grow and will treasure these that I wear, for as long as I could.
Thank you to the invisible behind-the-scenes people who made my clothes; I wish I could meet you and thank you someday.

Thank you, my friend, for staying with me until here and now.

Let's practice gratitude and be grateful for what we already have, and to do your best to protect them.

Thank you from me to you,
Waee Waee