Do you follow Andrea Cheong on Instagram or TikTok? If you don’t, you should! She has become the trusted and approachable authority in an arena that many find daunting to step into: sustainable fashion. Andrea’s Mindful Monday Method breaks sustainable shopping down into bite-size pieces of information one can easily digest and use for more sensible shopping tactics in the future, and it’s an absolute must-view if you want to be a more conscious consumer of fashion. With her wealth of knowledge and very good taste, it’s no wonder we had to knock on her virtual door. Join Andrea each Friday on Who What Wear UK’s TikTok channel (@whowhatwear.uk), where she’ll be dissecting the latest trends and shopping phenomena. This week? It’s how to shop the high street in a more sustainable way.
More and more of us are attempting to shop more sustainably. We’re repeating our outfits, thrifting, upcycling where we can and fervently researching sustainable and small brands to support. But a lot of the time, the calls of the high street are louder and more seductive. Los Angeles–based cult brand Reformation claims that the fashion industry’s standard for garments is 52 washes. That’s equivalent to one laundry load a week for a year. But with so many retailers using fast fashion tactics such as planned obsolescence, “buy less, choose better” seems a lot harder than it needs to be. I hold the rather unpopular opinion that the best thing to do is learn to shop mindfully rather than relying on brands that simply claim to be conscious—particularly because there are absolutely no regulations around what this term means and who can claim it.
In 2019, I crafted a set of shopping filters that I call the Mindful Monday Method. While it can’t completely eliminate the threat that is planned obsolescence, it was created to mitigate a lot of the risks of greenwashing and poor-quality purchases. These are my five tips for shopping on the high street that can help you save money and the planet.