Take small steps. It doesn't have to be a huge change. Looking into your wardrobe and feeling grateful for what you own is a good first step to switch your mindset from "I need more" to "I have enough".
Hi, tell us more about Mind Your Cart and introduce the team members!
Team MYC: Mind Your Cart (MYC) is a campaign started by 4 final-year NTU WKWSCI students to promote the conscious consumption of fashion products. We’ve observed that with the e-commerce boom, many Singaporeans — especially friends around our age, and ourselves included— tend to shop mindlessly. What’s more, we’re all too familiar with the feelings of stress and guilt that accompany excessive shopping, which can eat away at us subconsciously. Hence, we wanted to introduce simple habits that would help others become more conscious about the way they spend their time, money, and energy on fashion, guided by our tagline: “check in before you check out”.
Our team consists of Elizabeth, Hannah, Desiree and Samantha.
Elizabeth and Hannah are the creative brains of the team. Responsible for developing the content posts on our Instagram platform (@mindyourcart), they are constantly coming up with new and engaging ways to visually communicate our key messages. When they’re not brainstorming a new post for MYC, Elizabeth can be found going hard at a workout class while Hannah loves unwinding by the beach.
The other half of the team is made up of Desiree and Samantha, who manage Public Relations and Outreach. They are often reaching out to new partners and seeking out interesting collaboration opportunities to further the campaign’s reach. In their free time, Desiree enjoys moving through dance while Samantha loves having Korean food with her friends.
What are some of the challenges faced while building the brand?
Team MYC: While most campaigns on conscious consumption of fashion have had a very strong focus on environmental sustainability, our team wanted to focus on its importance in relation to personal well-being. Since this was relatively new territory, it was a challenge to redefine this term and create awareness on this issue. Most people don’t associate fashion with well-being, but if you are someone who considers it an important part of your life, it is an aspect of your self-identity. We make choices every day in choosing what to wear, how to present ourselves, what to purchase, and these choices impact how we feel. Thus, we wanted to encourage conscious consumption by targeting this intrinsic motivation. Communicating our behaviours in an intrinsic and personal way was initially a challenge while developing the brand.
What are some success/funny stories during this journey?
Team MYC: One of the poignant success stories was that after we posted our Declutter with Us series on Instagram, one of our schoolmates texted us to feedback that she was so inspired from watching it that she went ahead and decluttered her own wardrobe. It was especially encouraging because we had planned a giveaway for the following week to incentivize people to declutter their wardrobes as well, but it wasn’t even necessary in her case!
What is the team up to these days?
Team MYC: Currently, we are working on wrapping up the campaign for our final year project and collecting feedback on how it can be improved in the long-term! Despite a relatively short runway for this campaign, we are excited to understand how our campaign has impacted our audience.
Of course, we’re also practicing what we encourage by trying to be conscious consumers ourselves!
What is one poor habit you've swapped out from your life for something better?
Hannah: One key issue I identified when I embarked on my conscious consumption journey was my impulse to buy trendy items. While decluttering my wardrobe, I realised that a majority of the pieces I removed were those that were once trendy, while basic staples were ones I continue reaching for even over the years. So, I’ve made a very intentional effort to think twice before buying and not jump on fashion trends just for the sake of it, because I know the pieces would have limited longevity in my wardrobe.
Samantha: I’ve almost completely stopped buying new clothes and made it a constant habit to clear out bits of my wardrobe each month! Going through it makes me realise how much clothes I already own and how I really should not be buying more. When I feel like refreshing my wardrobe, I could always bring unwanted clothes down to Swapaholic and swap them for new ones instead.
What are your views on Singaporeans’ receptiveness toward Climate Action?
Team MYC: We think that Singaporeans, especially the younger generation, see Climate Action as a real threat. There are a lot more green initiatives that they’re willing to adopt and they’re also a lot more conscious of their impact on the environment. Social media has definitely played a big role in spreading awareness and the urgency of Climate Action and we’re hopeful that this will continue.
How can one start making more conscious fashion decisions today?
Team MYC: Take small steps. It doesn't have to be a huge change. Looking into your wardrobe and feeling grateful for what you own is a good first step to switch your mindset from "I need more" to "I have enough".
Conscious consumption of fashion may sound intimidating at the start, but we believe you can start by adopting two very simple and effective behaviours - using a checklist to guide your purchasing decisions and keeping an inventory of your wardrobe. Our Instagram account has a very comprehensive guide on why and how you can begin this journey!
Mind Your Cart is a non-profit communications campaign that seeks to promote the conscious consumption of fashion products (clothes, shoes and accessories). This includes engaging in the behaviours of 1) Keeping an inventory of one’s fashion items, and 2) Adhering to a checklist of criteria before making a purchase. The initiative was born out of a collective passion for both fashion and personal well-being by four students from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University.
Find out more on MYC’s Instagram: @mindyourcart