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5 simple ways to consume consciously

Updated: May 6

Books and influencers urge you to be conscious and compassionate, accept others and listen to your heart. What about step-by-step instructions? I have collected interesting facts and 5 practical tips on how to really add sustainability to your lifestyle and not give up beautiful things.


My name is Olena Kucherniuk - I am the founder of the Orxata brand, an engineer by calling and a journalist by profession (what a twist). From now on, I want to regularly share with you useful information about jewelry, lifestyle, fashion, thinking and aesthetics. I hope this blog will fit into your life as organically as my transforming jewelry brand. So, let's talk about how to change your thoughts and actions in a sustainable direction!

Silver pendant on an art statue

#1. Buy more expensive


Surprise! But let's think logically. According to statistics, 60% of clothes are thrown away after a year of use - have you noticed this? Maybe the sweater is wrinkled, the trendy jewelry is out of fashion, or the jeans are stretched at the knees. At least 7,000 liters of water were already used to produce only these jeans - this would be enough for a person for 7 years of life. We often confuse conscious consumption with money saving, but actually saving is the antonym of conscious consumption. Just recall the quote from the popular book about Parisian girls "If you only have one sweater - it should be cashmere", or the quote from my mother "We are not rich enough to buy cheap things". Indeed, if you divide the cost of a thing by the number of times you wore it, then an expensive thing is usually more profitable than a cheap one.


Another bonus from owning quality things is at least some confidence in the future. Remember the character of Woody Allen's film "Jasmine" - when she went bankrupt one day, she still gave the impression of a wealthy woman and had a luxurious appearance, because in her wardrobe there were only precious things. I'm not saying that you should go barefoot and save on Gucci. But between two acrylic sweaters from the mass market and one woolen from the middle segment (on sale), a conscious consumer will choose the second.


#2. Buy more functional


Count the number of items in your wardrobe, including even those lying dead weight on the far shelves. Shoes and accessories too. How much did it turn out? The average person has 148 items in their wardrobe, while only 50 are needed for complete outfits for all occasions! The main condition is that all things match with each other. This is one of the reasons I have only 1 necklace - Espacio Transforming Necklace. It can be worn at least 7 ways, so it works for me with any top cut and any outfit - minimalist or festive. Watch the video instruction for the necklace here and see for yourself! I am proud of the fact that my team and I make the most functional transformer jewelry, and each one can replace an entire jewelry wardrobe.


The "functional" category we can include not only transforming jewelry and clothing, but also clothing with complementary colors and classic cut - they are easy to mix and "refresh" from time to time with new accessories.


#3. Repair and restore


Switzerland ranks 3rd in Europe in terms of standard of living, that is, the Swiss are wealthy people. But several times a year, "Repair Parties" are held across the country, where wealthy Swiss bring unbuttoned coats and non-working irons to give things a second life and not buy new ones. Maybe it was thanks to such "parties" that the Swiss became wealthy?


Orxata can arrange a "repair party" for its client at any time. Firstly, we provide free warranty repair: within 6 months for silver jewelry and lifetime for gold jewelry. Secondly, when the coating from your silver jewelry (gold plating or rhodium) wears off, we can make it new again! Send the jewelry to us and we will restore the plating at cost price. Thus, even silver jewelry will serve you really long. Read more about repair and restoration of the plating here.


#4. Consciously buy from small business


Of course, it's easier to buy from mass market giants. They have a larger selection, lower prices, and seasonal discounts. But eat a bun is also easier than prepare a nutritive dinner - the question is about "conscious consumption". For example, a small business will contribute 250% more to social charges and generate 70% more money for the local economy than large retailers. Also, small businesses do not burn tons of unsold products, as dozens of manufacturers do, from luxury brands such as Burberry to budget brands such as H&M and even "eco-friendly" brands such as Nike.


Orxata's customers know that in most cases they have to wait 2-3 days for our jewelry, because we produce our models on demand in order to avoid overproduction and not to waste both human and production resources (electricity and water). We not only work with recycled metals but also cooperate with craft manufacturers of quality components from Europe. We do not buy bulk components from China or Turkey. We order all packaging from local Ukrainian manufacturers, although it is ten times more expensive than in China. That's why we can't affordto put -70% on Black Friday. But we have believes that are more valuable than money. And our clients can be sure that they are paying for the product as much as it costs, and not +70%, which will be dropped in six months.


#5. Buy online


Again: buying offline is easier. More trust in the seller, because you can come to him in case of a problem and argue. There are fitting rooms, there are mirrors, the goods can be seen and touched. But today we buy 400% more than our parents did 20 years ago. That means, we drive 4 times more, use public or private transport 4 times more often, and pollute the environment 4 times harder. At the same time, manufacturers transport 4 times more goods to their offline points, generating almost three billion cubic meters of carbon dioxide every year. And all this to see something "in real life"? Seriously?


Our jewelry pieces can and should be ordered without a fitting, because their sizes are adjustable. We ship jewelry from the closest to our workshop filials of Nova Poshta and UkrPoshta, where our manager walks on foot. Yes, you can't see our jewelry "in real life" before buying, because we don't have a showroom or a storefront. But we make enough photos and videos for the website and social networks to give you a complete picture of the pieces, and we are always ready to answer your questions in the chat on the website or in Instagram direct. By the way, we always pay for domestic delivery for all orders.


Conclusion


As you can see, conscious consumption does not about giving up desirable and beautiful things - on the contrary! You should buy only what you really like and what you will be proud of. Yes, maybe less often. But with love for yourself, for the economy, for the environment and others. That is about consciousness. Personally I set myself the goal of buying only things with meaning. For example, a certain bag from a certain brand, because it means something to me. And until I can pay the full amount for it, without tearing it from my heart, I will not exchange it for cheaper options - I'm ok with my current one, because it is also leather and decent - I am not ashamed of it. And now I am not ashamed of myself in the context of conscious consumption too.

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