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We’re already in the first half of 2021. Try to count how many clothes have you bought in these six months. Did you buy one, two, or five clothes? Then, many of those do you actually wear? Or… was it an impulsive purchase?

It’s the toxic relationship we all had, or at least, have. You might not notice it, but your wardrobe stores too many clothes you haven’t even worn. Maybe it’s time to stop and rethink, do I really need this thing? Do I have similar clothes? Am I sure to wear it often, and not going to leave it forgotten in the back of my wardrobe?

A Canadian illustrator and environmental journalist Sarah Lazarovic made an illustration that might help us to take some things into consideration before checking out that wishlist. She’s inspired by Maslow’s hierarchy of needs!

The Buyerarchy of Needs

This impressive illustration presents a new way of finding what we need. Be it clothes or other long-lasting stuff, there are six levels in this hierarchy that can be applied to almost anything you would usually buy.

The Buyerarchy of Needs. (Source: copyright of Sarah Lazarovic, 2014)

Use what you have

Before you buy anything, recount all the things you have in your wardrobe. Maybe you still have that dress you’ve never worn. Or that forgotten jeans that actually still fit your hips. If you’re bored with what you have, mixing and matching them would do the trick. You could also add on some accessories to make you look more stylish.


Think of those occasions when we are required to wear something out of the ordinary, such as a thesis presentation or a wedding. Wouldn’t it be better to borrow something from a friend or family member than purchase something you may never wear again?

It isn’t embarrassing to borrow clothes from a friend or relatives. If it’s not feasible or no one is around to borrow, there’s always an option to rent stuff.


Swapping clothes sounds like an appealing idea! You can switch your wardrobe without buying new ones. When you release three pieces of clothing, you must also only put three pieces. The amount remains the same, in and out. If there isn’t any big event of clothes swap nearby, you can also organize one with your friends. 


Thrifting has become more and more familiar nowadays. Used clothes or rejected ones from fast fashion industries are easy to find now from e-commerces or offline markets. It’s better for the environment since you reuse old clothes that might have otherwise ended up in landfill, and it’s more affordable!


Now this option may not be for everyone. But if you have some hobbies to do and some time to kill, you can try to make your own clothes! You have so much more control over the end product. When you make your own clothing, you can make it to fit your own unique body, personalizing it to meet your specific requirements.


Buying should always be the final option. Always remember to go through the other five options, and calculate your budget before checking out. You could wear the same clothes for a few years straight, but you still have to use the money for kitchen staples. 

With these in mind, you could help prevent textile waste from going to the landfill and practicing sustainable consumption and production. Without realizing it, you could also save more money.

Written by: Melisa Qonita Ramadhiani


Florentina, S. (2019, December 27). Yuk, Tukar Baju! Tampil Keren Sambil Menjaga Bumi. Retrieved from detik.com: https://news.detik.com/kolom/d-4837641/yuk-tukar-baju-tampil-keren-sambil-menjaga-bumi

Martinko, K. (2018, October 11). Why Shopping Should Be a Last Resort . Retrieved from Treehugger: https://www.treehugger.com/why-shopping-should-be-last-resort-4856723

Sister Mountain. (2018, January 9). The Buyerarchy of Needs: How to Build a More Intentional Wardrobe. Retrieved from Sister Mountain: https://www.sistermountain.com/blog/buyerarchy-of-needs

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