When we can pay for our morning coffee by simply waving our phones or order anything we want on the web from all over the world, shopping can start to feel “less real.” At Mexicali Blues, we want every one of our shopping experiences to be as sensory, soulful and satisfying as a walk through one of our stores. We think mindfulness can help. Why? Because being aware of what’s happening in your head is the key to being happy with what you buy.
We think of shopping as practical, but it is almost always emotional. Buying something new is an automatic mood boost. “Retail therapy” isn’t a joke—a new purchase actually activates endorphins in the brain and speeds up your heart rate with excitement. But if a purchase was not made mindfully, regrets can set in swiftly. When you can’t find any more space in your closet, or when the credit card statement arrives, or when something you bought doesn’t hold up …. suddenly, the magic is gone.
Before you hit the “buy” button or swipe your card at checkout, stop and spend a moment on being mindful of your means and your motivations. Take a few deep breaths and ask yourself a few honest questions:
Why do I want it?
Are you bored, angry, sad, or nervous? All of these emotions can influence your ‘impulse buy’ buttons. If you know you’re a typically emotional shopper, try calling a friend, taking a walk, or slowing down and making a cup of tea before you make that choice. Being mindful of the real reasons we want something make it more likely that we will get it.
Another tactic for making mindful purchases is to make a wish list, which we think are an awesome way to create a moment of mindfulness for new purchases. Creating your personal wish list lets us make thoughtful choices, evaluate our options, and stick to our budget. And a Mexicali Blues wish list can also make wishes come true! We still surprise unsuspecting customers with free gifts from their wish list when the mood strikes us, so click here to start creating your own.
Do I need it?
We all love the feeling of buying something new. But here’s the thing about things—too many personal possessions can increase personal stress. It can also stress our planet. Producing new goods can tax our natural resources and disposing of old goods overflows landfills and pollute our environment. America represents 5% of the world’s population … and produces 30% of the world’s waste. If we all practiced a little more mindfulness about our consumption we could have an enormous impact on the world.
Before you buy something new, make sure you truly need it. If you are replacing something that has broken, see if it can be fixed. Recycle or upcycle whenever you can and prioritize products that were made ethically from sustainable materials. We stock our shelves and closets with clothing made from renewable materials like hemp and recycled materials like plastic, and we use solar energy to power our stores and headquarters.
Is it worth it?
The price is always right there on the tag or the screen, but mindfulness means asking questions about value. Is it authentic and well made? Will it work? Will it last? When we are mindful of how the things we buy are made, shipped and sold, we get better value and we use our buying power to reinforce our values. This extends beyond our customers, to how we source our goods. Mexicali Blues is committed to transparent and responsible sourcing for all our products. We are a firm believer that shopping is much more fun when prices are fair, and Pete and Kim Erskine are mindful shoppers in markets, workshops, galleries and stores all over the world.
Now, go get it!
If, after your mindfulness moment, you still want to make that awesome purchase, go for it. Being honest about our motivations can temper our expectations about our purchases and make even a crazy, compulsive impulse buy worthwhile. Whether you are on our website, in one of our gorgeous, groovy stores, or shopping somewhere else, we hope you are having a meaningful (and magical) shopping experience!