I'm Not Shopping At Any Department Stores This Year, And You Shouldn't Either
Start writing a post

I'm Not Shopping At Any Department Stores This Year, And You Shouldn't Either

Because feeling "trendy" won't give you true happiness

I'm Not Shopping At Any Department Stores This Year, And You Shouldn't Either
freestocks.org from Pexels

After the chaos of Black Friday and feeling exhausted by post-holiday sales, I made a decision that turned into a year-long goal. I started asking myself, “Do I really need to go shopping, or am I just going shopping out of habit?” and “Where else could I be spending my money and time that is more productive and isn't just buying into a multi-billion dollar industry that is trying to sell me "happiness."

It always amazes me to think about how much time I’ve spent shopping online or in major department or retail stores. How I used to call the mall a great hang out spot for spending time with friends, or I would waste hours scrolling through pages of sales items on my favorite clothing sites just to try to try to find the “perfect deal”.

That is why I made a new years resolution to stop shopping at large retail clothing stores and stop going to the mall.

The mindset of consumerism literally consumes so much of our time and money - but at what cost?

After doing a lot of research and reflection, here are my reasons why I'm not shopping at any major department stores in 2018:

1. You don't need it

Most of us, believe it or not, do not need most of the stuff we buy. There are so many items in our life that are barely used, so instead of cluttering up your space with the newest trend or an expensive dress you only wore twice, think about how you could replace all the things you DON’T need in your life, with quality things and experiences that you DO.

2. You spend less money

Even though we are constantly sold to buy something because of sales and those cute outfits that are 70% off, let’s face it: you are probably saving more money not buying these items than you are getting them on sale. Even though it may seem like a good idea to stock up on things when the stores have their annual sales, if you weren’t thinking about getting it for a long period of time, you probably don’t need to be spending your money on it.

3. Support local businesses

Not spending money on large, multi-conglomerate organizations isn’t just a financial choice, but is something we can vote for each day with our dollar. Giving to local businesses or ethical-minded startups not only helps the local economy but also makes sure that your dollar goes towards supporting local sourcing and more ethical practices. Supporting local businesses also supports our neighbors and gives back more to the community than any major retail corporation would.

4. The environmental costs

Most of our “fast fashion” (i.e. cheaply made, low-cost, low-quality clothing) is made overseas and greatly pollutes the environment. The ingredients of most fast fashion clothing are made out of cotton and polyester, which both take a HUGE amount of PETROLEUM and FRESH WATER to make an average t-shirt (about 2,700 liters in fact)*. Not to mention, all of the chemicals that go into making your favorite pair of jeans all goes into lakes, streams, and drinking water of the people and animals in that area. This is only a snapshot of the environmental cost of the 3rd most polluting industry in the world, but it means that we can reduce the amount of fast fashion that we buy and stop supporting these industries as environmentally-minded consumers.

5. The human costs

If you haven’t watched the Netflix documentary, The True Cost, go do it now. This is only one of the many examples of how the fashion industry, particularly giant retailers, have a very negative impact on the lives of so many people around the world. From people dying in factory fires because they did not meet safety standards for women working 15 hours a day for mere pennies, these are major problems that affect the lives of millions of people. Not only that, we can urge companies to have more transparency, treat workers fairly all with whom we support with our dollar.

6. Shopping doesn't bring joy

I’ve mentioned this before, but does it really surprise anyone that spending so much of our precious time on shopping doesn’t really bring anyone joy? Is it surprising that even though Americans are spending more than ever, there hasn't been an increase in overall happiness?

Now at this point, some of you may be asking: what do I do instead?

Here are some ideas:

  • Buy second-hand! (You’ll reduce your environmental impact, and it’s way cheaper)
  • Do your research before you buy
  • Find companies that are ethically and environmentally minded
  • Think before you spend (Is this something that I really want?)

I’ve taken on this challenge because I truly believe that my happiness doesn't revolve around the items that I own and I don't want to support corporations that exploit people and the environment, just to convince consumers that they need the next trendy item.

Overall, I hope this can be a year where more of us can re-evaluate our spending habits and make choices that are better for our health, the environment, our happiness, and our wallet.

*According to the World Wildlife Fund: https://www.worldwildlife.org/stories/the-impact-o...

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments