Odds are that you’ve heard about the Hierarchy of Needs. Or, if you haven’t, you’re probably familiar with the Food Pyramid. Well, this is like that, but for shoppers. Sarah Lazarovic’s Buyerarchy of Needs is the perfect way to visualize shopping purposefully. The photo shows all the steps of the shopping process from most to least sustainable. Save it to your phone, print it out, or stick it on your wall. Whatever you need to do to remind yourself when you’re browsing in-store or online.
Fashion Revolution week might be over, but that doesn’t mean that it’s time to stop caring about where and how you shop. Being revolutionary is a way of life. It’s a constant thought process. But it also doesn’t have to be so hard, and the Buyerarchy of Needs proves it.
When I first saw this graphic, it immediately made me stop and think. Actually, I couldn’t stop thinking about it all day long. Then I found out that it was created by Canadian illustrator Sarah Lazarovic. She was the illustrator and writer behind one of my favorite books “A Bunch of Pretty Things I Did Not Buy.”
The illustration is printed on the back of her book as well. It marks out six ways to think about shopping from most to least sustainable. People think about buying sustainable clothing, but they don’t necessarily think about how to live sustainably. Living purposefully isn’t just about what you’re buying. It’s about how you’re using what you have as well.
The first step is the one that just about everyone can do — use what you have. It’s as simple as that. Stop thinking that you need a new outfit every time that you see someone wearing something cool on Instagram. Get use out of what you have.
If you don’t have anything for a certain occasion, borrow from a friend. The second and third step on the Buyerarchy of Needs kills two birds with one stone. You get to raid your friends closets, hehe. In all seriousness, I don’t think people take advantage of this enough. When I was in high school, I used to borrow clothing from friends all the time. For some reason, when you grow up it’s frowned upon. It’s time to change that.
The last three steps is thinking about how your clothing is being made and where it’s coming from. The Buyerarchy of Needs says to thrift and make your own clothing before you buy. See that tiny little triangle on the top? That’s your last resort. Even then you should be considering where you’re buying from though.
“The neat thing about resistance is the freedom it grants,” Lazarovic says in her book. “I don’t browse or examine sartorial specimens. The time I used to spend running my fingers across fabrics is now apportioned to other things. Valuable things like tweeting and making fun of Twitter.”
Lazarovic has a great way of combing a serious problem into something not-so-serious in her book “A Bunch Of Things I Did Not Buy.” She explores her own journey with shopping through casual language and photos without taking away the importance of the topic. The book is fun and aesthetically pleasing and you need to buy it now. Seriously, it’s worth it. More worth it than that $30 dress that you’ve been eyeing up.
As quirky as her ways to draw attention to the power of spending are, they really do work. They catch the eye, create conversation, and make it something that people actually want to look at. Plus it totally fits with your Instagram aesthetic, ya know? The important things.
Whether it’s puns and quirky drawings that gets the point across or a serious essay, talking about sustainability is important. Print out the Buyerarchy of Needs and stick this book on your coffee table. Because living purposefully takes time and effort, but it’s a whole lot of fun too.