Lou Stokes wearing I was a Sari

How to become a more conscious consumer

"Every week I’d be buying something new. It wasn’t until I looked inwards that I realised impulse-buying was only a way to fill a void. I was addicted to the short-term feel-good factor of buying something new."

We don’t value our clothes anymore.
Hyper consumerism is on the rise…we’re wearing clothes for half the amount of time we used to and the landfills are filled with waste clothes. 

Though sustainability is at the forefront of conversations in the fashion industry now, fast fashion doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Brands like Shein, H&M and Zara are continuing to grow.

We now have 5 times more clothes than our grandparents had, and we wear less than 25% of what we have in our wardrobes. 

Buying new clothes is easier than ever before, with savvy social media tactics, at a click of a button you can have a new outfit at your home the following day!

So this post is for anyone thinking about the consequences of our buying habits and what effect they are having on the planet.

So, what is conscious consumerism? 

A conscious consumer looks beyond the label and uses their individual actions to create a positive global impact. They want to know more about the company they are buying from, where the garment comes from, how it was made, what it is made of and how it gets to them.

How do you become more intentional with the way you consume fashion? 

The first step I teach my clients and students is to create a deeper awareness of yourself. 

Yoga & Meditation are great ways to cultivate consciousness and awareness, as both help you to go within and learn more about yourself. You become more aware of your behaviours, habits and inner dialogue, some of which could be sabotaging the way you show up in the world and the decisions you make.

On my own journey to deeper consciousness and awareness, yoga has completely changed my life in many ways. Becoming more aware of myself and the world around me, understanding my behaviours, habits and decisions and how they have a domino effect on the people and the world around me.   

The way I dress and consume fashion has completely transformed. I used to be an unconscious and impulse shopper, obsessed with having the latest trends. Every week I’d be buying something new. It wasn’t until I looked inwards that I realised impulse-buying was only a way to fill a void. I was addicted to the short-term feel-good factor of buying something new.

Today, I am more conscious, mindful and intentional with fashion. I have slowed my consumption down and really think about if I need something or not. 

I use style as a tool to empower myself and wear my values. 


Towards conscious consumerism

Step 1
Yoga encourages you to change perspective and invites you to notice your patterns and consider your willingness to see and take action to change.

The practice of yoga & meditation cultivates

– More awareness of what is going on inside you, inside others and in the world around   you

– Living more mindfully, paying attention to your thoughts and feelings.

– Becoming more intentional. You choose who you want to be and how you want to show up in the world.

– Acting more consciously to have a positive impact on the world, becoming the best version of yourself and living for the world rather than only for yourself.

Raising consciousness requires you to wake up, to live mindfully and get clear on how you want to show up in the world. With a higher consciousness you feel good about yourself,  you believe in yourself and your capabilities, you make more conscious aligned decisions and have a more positive impact.

Step 2
The more aware, mindful, intentional and conscious you become the better choices you make when it comes to consuming fashion and how you cultivate your personal style. 

Once you start to cultivate more awareness around your behaviours and consumption, the second step is to connect to your values.  

What is important to you and why when it comes to fashion and style. 

Spend some time researching brands who have the same or similar values to you. 

There are so many brands that are creating a positive impact on the planet, choose them instead of unconsciously over consuming fast fashion, buying things you don’t need and supporting a broken system. 

The next time you go to purchase ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What’s this item made out of?
  2. Who made this item
  3. Where did it come from? 
  4. Can I wear it 3 different ways or more?
  5. Is this item/brand aligned with my values

Don’t look for perfection, strive to be better and to have more awareness around your consumption, look for the better options and be intentional with your purchases. 

Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want.” – Anne Lappé

By reducing your consumption, being mindful of the things you buy, supporting brands that are doing good things in the world, reusing, repairing and repurposing your clothes, you will have an impact on the planet and those around you, living a more socially responsible and sustainable life. 

What we need to change

Our consciousness to become more aware of how our purchasing decisions affect our planet, not just environmentally but also socially. 

Brands to be transparent and honest about what they are doing to become more sustainable now and in the future.  

Consumers to take action by becoming more conscious and aware of their choices. Seeing how each individual choice we make has a negative or positive impact on our planet.


Guest Post by Lou Stokes 

– Yogi, Stylist and Teacher of sustainable fashion in Madrid, Spain.

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