Sustainable shopping: 4 classic mistakes

Whether it’s construction, transport or, in this case, shopping, the S-word is only getting bigger.

Once seen as something of a fad, living sustainably is now a fundamental principle that many people try to abide by.

Unfortunately, in the era of fast fashion and a whole host of similar trends, it can be challenging to stay on top of. Through today’s article, we’re now going to take a look at four of the most common mistakes that people make when they “think” they are shopping sustainably, but in reality, they’re doing anything but.

Mistake #1 – Shopping local is always sustainable

There’s nothing better than helping your local economy, and few would disagree with this.

However, there are caveats. If the stores in question are still shipping goods halfway around the world, are you really helping the situation? Shopping with smaller, local brands tend to have sustainable benefits, but there can be exceptions. Do your homework rather than just assuming they are the definition of sustainable.

Mistake #2 – Buying in bulk is the key to sustainability

We’ve all seen those huge bulk packs of household goods, and it’s easy to see the appeal.

After all, buying in bulk usually means you’re getting a better deal, right?

Well, not always. The thing to remember is that the more you buy, the more you will have to throw away. If you don’t think you can use it all, it’s probably not worth buying.

Of course, this doesn’t occur to all products, but if it’s anything edible – it’s something that should most definitely be considered before scanning through at the checkout.

Mistake #3 – Natural fibres are always best

When it comes to clothing, it’s often assumed that natural fibres are the most sustainable option.

While this can be the case, it’s not always true. For example, cotton is a natural fibre, but it takes a considerable amount of water to grow. This means that if you’re buying cotton clothes, you’re actually contributing to water pollution.

Similarly, silk is another natural fibre, but making it is quite harmful to the environment.

Mistake #4 – Sustainable shopping is always more expensive

This is probably the biggest misconception about sustainable shopping.

Yes, some sustainable brands can be more expensive, but that doesn’t mean that all of them are.

There are plenty of sustainable brands out there that are just as affordable as fast fashion brands. You just need to know where to look.

Take Covent Garden, for example. This is starting to amass a sterling reputation as a shopping district that prides itself on sustainability. A quick look on this page shows that you don’t necessarily have to pay considerable sums to unlock these benefits.

Unfortunately, like all sustainable rules, it takes some effort on your part. If you do your research accordingly, it is possible to avoid the traps and ultimately become a much more conscious and environmentally friendly buyer without paying through the nose for the privilege.