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5 Ways I’m Changing My Spending Habits For The Future I Want To See

by: Rosie Dalton | 4 weeks ago | Features

Image: WMC Fashion Editor Rosie Dalton wears vintage clothing and sustainable jewellery by Holly Ryan.


This article was created in partnership with
Bank Australia. Bank Australia is a customer-owned bank which invests its customers’ money in responsible ways, including in not-for-profits and renewable energy projects. Learn more about Bank Australia’s commitment to the ‘clean money’ movement here.

 

So far 2020 has been quite a rollercoaster ride. Between a devastating bushfire season here in Australia, a global pandemic, and the recent attention given to the Black Lives Matter movement both locally and abroad, things have certainly been in flux. All of which has underscored the need for drastic change, serving as a potent reminder of what is really important – values like sustainability and equality.

So, with respect to this current moment in time, I am compiling a list of the ways that I’m changing my spending habits for the future I want to see. From supporting locally-made labels and Black artisans, to understanding where my bank invests money, these are the five spending habits that I’m adopting to reduce my overall impact.

 

1) Shopping vintage

Shopping vintage is one of the best ways we can reduce our environmental impact – and find some highly unique pieces in the process. In a wardrobe context, extending the useful life of clothing from one year to two years reduces emissions over the year by 24%, according to Fashion Revolution. But vintage shopping extends beyond our wardrobes. It is also something I am really embracing right throughout my home right now. Recently, for example, I sourced a vintage Featherston couch from the 1970s. The design is still so beautiful (and unlike anything else), while shopping secondhand means keeping these iconic pieces in rotation, rather than sending them to landfill. I had the couch restored in a sustainable upholstery fabric, which is Oeko-Tex certified. And it has quickly become one of my favourite pieces of furniture. 

 

Image: my vintage couch.

2) Supporting Black artisans and Black-owned businesses

Equality in the supply chain has always been important to me as a consumer, but the Black Lives Matter movement has recently underscored the urgent need to support Black artisans and Black-owned businesses now more than ever. In order to spend for the future I want to see, I am purchasing books that are written by First Nations People, donating to charities like Djirra, and supporting wonderful businesses that are owned and operated by people of colour worldwide. This helps to ensure that my money is being used to support equality for the future. Some of my favourite businesses owned by Black and Indigenous People of Colour (BIPOC) include: Bush Medijina, Klur, and Indigiearth

 

3) Prioritising responsible local labels

I believe in using my purchasing power for positive change. Understanding where my clothes come from and how they were made is a really important part of this process. So I love to support responsible, local labels whose supply chains I know a little bit about. Like Dominique Healy, for example, who makes her clothing down in Melbourne and who made one of my favourite tops by upcycling a fabulous deadstock fabric. Or Holly Ryan, who is a local jewellery designer that crafts all of her pieces right here in Australia as well, using sustainable materials like recycled gold and silver. Knowledge is power and I find that responsible, local labels tend to be much more willing to share information about their supply chains with customers. 

 

Image: sustainable, locally-made jewellery by Holly Ryan.

 

4) Buying local, seasonal produce

I love cooking quality food (and I also run a Recipe Exchange community called Off Carte). Which is why I am spending my hard earned dollars on buying local, seasonal produce wherever possible right now. This has been a bit trickier than usual lately, as COVID-19 forced the closure of many public markets, but there are some great farmer’s markets now reopening across Australia and New Zealand. Some of my local favourites include Orange Grove and Marrickville Markets in Sydney, or the Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne. Alternatively, you can look into home delivery of organic veggie boxes, which are sourced straight from the farm. 

 

5) Understanding how money is spent on my behalf 

Of course, it is not just important to think about how I am spending my money, but also how money is being spent on my behalf – through things like banking. Making the switch is simple and the first step in this process is to understand which banks have publicly available policies and which are known to fund fossil fuels. Then to research the banks that make financial decisions which support the future I want to see. Bank Australia, for example, is a customer-owned bank that uses money in clean and responsible ways, to create positive impact for people, their communities and the planet. This means that the money they look after is never loaned to industries which cause harm – like coal, nuclear weapons, or live animal exports. Understanding how money is being spent on our behalf can, in turn, create a lifetime of positive impact for our future.


Image: reading up on the Bank Australia conservation reserve. 

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