If you’ve ever taken a beginner psychology course, you probably are familiar with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. At the bottom of Maslow’s Hierarchy is the largest, most fundamental of human needs. These are the basic needs that must be met before an individual desires, or can achieve the highest level of needs. Going beyond the scope of an individual’s basic needs is to strive for constant betterment to reach self-actualization. As a nod, and an apology to Maslow, Sarah Lazarovic, a Canadian illustrator, created The Buyerarchy of Needs; the reverse logic to Maslow’s Hierarchy.
Lazarovic’s Hierarchy looks at buying as the last possible choice after all the other options have been considered. It gives us pause to think about our purchasing behaviour, and the importance of focusing on what is a “need” versus a “want”.
- Use what you have. Take care of the things you have, so they last a long time. Make the best use of your purchases, and be aware of the dangers of overconsumption.
- Borrow. Use an item temporarily, and then return it.
- Swap. Can you swap something you have for something you are looking for?
- Thrift. Donate, gift, or consign items you no longer want, and patronize thrift and consignment stores.
- Make. Use your DIY skills to recycle and repair.
- Buy. Buying becomes the last, and only option when all the other choices are futile.
The Buyerarchy of Needs is a useful approach when contemplating clothing purchases. It’s a way of refreshing your wardrobe without having to always buy when something becomes outdated, or simply not wanted anymore. If we take this approach more often, our wardrobes will be more sustainable, and so will our environment.