Voya's guide to shopping with clarity and with an intention to benefit the environment and society.

Many people around the world are becoming more aware of the environmental damage caused by excess production and consumption. As a result, many consumers are hungry for ethical business practices, which may translate into seeking out fair trade, organically grown, local, natural, or recycled products. Efforts towards reducing harm to the environment are also gaining momentum in the fashion industry, as part of the transition towards a green and circular economy.

People who practice mindfulness are also more likely to partake in altruistic actions that benefit the environment and society. One study even found that altruism is activated by mindful meditation. Another study examined the different ways mindfulness practitioners shopped and found that they were less likely to over-consume and generally focused on:

  • the quality and price of a product
  • the possible harms to individuals and the earth when evaluating a potential purchase
  • all aspects involved in the production and consumption of a product 

Whether you practice mindfulness or are just concerned about the health and well-being of people and the planet, shopping with clarity and an intention to benefit the environment and society can be easily facilitated with these three simple tricks.

Pause and Reflect

Take a moment to pause, breath, and reflect as part of the shopping process. Check in with yourself to see how you are feeling. You may also check your closet to see if you already have enough items for the season or upcoming events. Ask yourself - do I really need to buy something new right now? The answer may be ‘no, it can wait’. If the shopping process stops here, that is ultimately a good outcome. An action towards zero consumption is as beneficial for the environment, if not better, than an ethical, green or sustainable purchase.

Make a Shopping List

Before you leave the house, or open up your web browser, take a few moments to sit down and write a list that details what you really need (or want). When it comes to clothes, this should also include your preferred style, quality and budget. It can also be useful to be specific about your personal sustainability concerns and the ways you wish to support the environment and society with your purchase. This could be as simple as purchasing clothes made from natural fibres or avoiding non-recylced denim. A clear shopping list will not only help you stay clear and focused when you start shopping, it will also save you time in the long-run.

Take the ‘Hell Yeah’ Test

Once you have your list ready and you are sure about your purchase, it is always a good idea to buy something that you really love. Think of it this way - if it is not a ‘hell yeah’ - than it is a no. Your reaction to clothes should really be an all out resounding, heartfelt yes. Without fierce enthusiasm for the colour, cut and style, you may end up buying something that ends up sitting at the back of your closet, never to be seen again. If this does happen and you end up buying something that you dont wear often, consider extending the life of the item, rather than throwing it out and sending it to landfill. At Voya our clothes are high quality and are made to last. So when you choose an item you love, you can be confident that it will be beautifully wearable for many seasons to come.