Here are our three top tips for when it comes to shopping online - particularly when you’re aiming to shop sustainably!
Sustainable shopping is very rewarding, and is definitely something I would encourage people to look into; but there aren’t very many shops selling ethically made items yet. Most environmental shops for food/ fashion/ beauty products etc. are online. This is by no means the case entirely, and it’s worth looking up what there is in your area, but it is certainly a common trend. Ordering things online is always a risk, and this doesn’t change just because you’re buying sustainable products.
The first thing I would say is that once you’ve found a product that works for you, don’t keep experimenting. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, obviously it depends on your personality, but sticking with what you know is fairly safe advice when it comes to shopping online. I’d found a foundation powder I absolutely loved, but when it ran out I thought I should try something from a new store to see if I could find one even better. Mistake! It’s really hard to tell the colour of a powder online, however carefully you look into it. I’m really pale so anything not right makes it look like I’m trying fake tan. Next time, I will definitely just re- invest in the product I already know works for me.
The second piece of advice I would give, is not to get sucked into the sales. Shopping sustainably does make you hit pause and think more about what you’re spending, but it doesn’t make you immune to the siren call of sales. I recently bought a RESPECT t-shirt from People Tree that I absolutely love, but whilst getting it I came across another t-shirt in the sale that had been seriously reduced and seemed like a fairly practical item to add to my wardrobe. The truth however is that, whilst I will wear it, I don’t love it and I kind of knew that when I bought it. The pattern, and neckline aren’t very me and, to be honest, I didn’t need it. Hardly the end of the world, but definitely something to think about for next time. Why buy something unless you absolutely adore it?
The third and final thing I’ve learned is to get the balance right in terms of waiting to buy an item. This is a tricky one and simple takes some getting used to. I would definitely recommend taking at least a week to think about whether or not you want to buy an item online (if nothing else it helps prevent the problem above ^^) However, you do of course run the risk that it sells out. This is unlikely in most cases and it may even end up amongst the sale items if you wait for long enough. A lot of sustainable companies are quite small though, and change the prices as they see best, it’s not all automated. Twice recently, I’ve left an item sitting in the sale to think about how much I really need it and have gone back to find the item had increased in price. Clearly, someone has decided that the item could sell for me and bumped the sale price up. Conclusion? Wait to be sure you really need it, but don’t leave it too long.