Why we should all be committing to shopping small, according to our fashion writer

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My name is Jess and I’m a shopaholic.

Lockdown has given all of us plenty of time to reflect, and for me, too much time with only my phone and bank card for company has shone a light on just how much I love to shop.I’ll shop small, I’ll shop big, I’ll shop local, I’ll shop abroad. I shop when I’m happy, I shop when I’m sad, I shop on those dull, in-between days too.

I can lose hours tracking down a specific dress with the same steely commitment I assume a tiger feels when hunting its prey. The buzz I get from bagging a bargain is only comparable to tucking into a giant slab of chocolate cake, with the guilty-come down of an extravagant purchase leaving me feeling sugar-stuffed and bloated.

How then, do I help myself to alleviate some of that shopping guilt?Talking about money is always uncomfortable, but aside from health worries, it has been one of the biggest concerns to come out of the pandemic. As always, it’s the great divider.

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There’s the work-from-homers, who are managing to merrily continue their jobs as normal, safe in the knowledge their pay will still land in their account on the last day of the month. If anything, some people have benefited from lockdown, with cancelled plans creating an opportunity to save.

Then there are the furloughed, the self-employed, the small business owners. For these, global uncertainty isn’t something that can be avoided by turning off the news - it’s a big, scary, everyday concern.

So how can we help these smaller businesses, struggling through no fault of their own? The answer is by shopping smaller, and shopping local. And luckily, that's the focus of Amazon Prime Day 2020 - which is coming up next week. During the online mega-sale, you'll be able to shop small and local brands on Amazon.co.uk, and w&h will be bringing you the very best deals.

But, there are plenty of perks in it for us when we shop small too.

Why should we shop small?

Shopping small brings with it the benefit of knowing your clothes haven’t been mass produced - so there’s only the tiniest chance of turning up to a restaurant in the same outfit as someone else. A very real fear ever since thatspotty Zara dress went viral in 2019.

It’s easy too. Websites like Amazon, as well as Etsy, Not On The High Street and Instragram have put a whole world of exciting businesses at our fingertips - no exploring side streets required.

Of course, there’s the feel-good-factor as well. What could feel better than basking in the knowledge that your new purchase might have helped buy a school uniform, or put food on someone’s table - rather than topping up the already booming bank balance of a faceless CEO.

Follow smaller brands you love on social media and you’ll not only help them gain visibility, but get to follow their journey. Sharing in their successes and knowing you played a tiny part in that is enough to leave even the coolest among us feeling warm and fuzzy.

And, that, for me, is better than any slice of cake - chocolate or otherwise.

Jess Beech

Jess Beech is an experienced fashion and beauty editor, with more than eight years experience in the publishing industry. She has written for woman&home, GoodtoKnow, Now, Woman, Woman’s Weekly, Woman’s Own and Chat, and is currently Deputy Fashion & Beauty Editor at Future PLC. 

She caught the magazine bug during a stint as Fashion Editor of her university newspaper alongside her English degree, and hasn’t looked back since. As for the fashion bug, that came as part and parcel of growing up in the 90s, but the less said about that the better!

Jess’ average day in the office is spent researching the latest fashion trends, chatting to industry tastemakers and scouring the internet to bring you this season’s must-buy pieces - as well as advice on how to wear them. Weekends are equally fashion-focused, and Jess has been known to visit no less than five Zara stores in a single day in search of the perfect occasion dress. 

The only thing that comes close to a buzz of finally tracking down that much-coveted dress is the joy of discovering a new beauty wonder product or hero ingredient. A beauty obsessive, Jess has tried everything from cryotherapy to chemical peels (minus the Samantha in Sex and The City-worthy redness) and interviewed experts including Jo Malone and Trinny Woodall.