HOW-TO

How To Shop More Sustainably This Christmas

19th November 2020

WORDS BY FLORENCE TROTT

A guilt-free guide to shopping for the festive season.

mach & mach bow shoes

Mach & Mach double bow crystal pumps

Once we dreamed of white Christmases, now we’d prefer they were green. The festive season is a time for celebrating and indulging, but our excessive consumption is putting a serious strain on the environment. Whilst alternatives aren’t always easy, a little thoughtfulness will go a long way to making your Christmas a bit more sustainable. We’re not about to say ‘bah humbug’ to giving gifts or shopping for festive ‘fits – it’s more about avoiding one-hit wonders and waste. Whether you’re buying luxury shoes for loved ones or treating yourself, maximise on festive magic and avoid peak consumption with our guide to shopping more sustainably this Christmas. 

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SHOP SMALL
Spread a little festive cheer by shopping small and slow this Christmas. You’re more likely to find gifts that are beautiful quality and completely unique, and it’s a more ethical way to shop. Whether it’s sustainable, independent or artisan designers, shopping small helps boost local economies and fund skilled craftspeople. By definition these designers promote slow fashion and are often more transparent about their supply chains and production processes. Shoes with a smaller carbon footprint? Yes please. 

PLAN YOUR PURCHASES
Plan your gift list and festive shoe investments ahead of time.  Of course, you deserve to treat-yo-self (and those you love), but modern consumer culture encourages us to make impulse purchases we don’t really want or need. It’s easy to fall victim to the “Because it’s Christmas” hype. Before you pull out the plastic, think about what you’re buying and why. Sleep on it. If visions of embellished bow pumps by Mach & Mach continue to dance in your head, it might be time to cave. 

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SHOP VINTAGE
Buying pre-loved and vintage pieces shouldn’t be dismissed just because it’s Christmas. If it’s a gift, the lucky recipient will know that you’ve trawled the internet to find the perfect Gucci sling-backs or ‘90s Prada pumps. Get your guilt-free Christmas fashion fix at Vestiaire Collective, Resellfridges and HEWI London. Whether you’re shopping for yourself or someone else, these pieces not only have sentimental value, but mean you’re taking out, instead of just putting in, to the consumer cycle. If it’s a gift – make sure you get the size right first. 

GIFT PRACTICALLY
Gifting something that’s useful as well as desirable is a great way to make sure your gift doesn’t end up languishing in the back of the wardrobe (or on e-Bay). Beautiful basics like a pair of black Gianvito Rossi boots that never go out of style will never be a waste. It’s also worth giving gift receipts – they might not be sexy, but they mean sizes (and styles) can be exchanged easily. 

MAKE EVERY GIFT COUNT
Basically, avoid buying loads of unnecessary stuff. It’s a classic case of less is more – one big investment gift, instead of lots of crap. Choose gifts that mean something, that will last, and that you know the recipient will love – not any old tat that’s destined for landfill. Luxury footwear is always beautifully made and designed to last. Cult classics like Gucci’s horsebit loafers and Manolo Blahnik Hangisis have a place in every wardrobe and will bring joy for years to come. 


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