January sales 2021

Image Credit: Ellie McCreanor

With January traditionally continuing on the Christmas shopping buzz with its irresistible discounts and savings, Adesewa Awobadejo talks January Sales in a pandemic.

There is something enticing about clothes being marked at 50% off.

There is definitely a science behind making clothes sales feel like a bounty. Regardless of the season, it is almost rewarding trading loose change for things we don’t necessarily need. Or sifting through tons of racks to eventually find a cute piece you can brag about finding years later.  We buy discounted clothes for buying sake, promising to wear it next season. In reality, we tend to forget about them.

This year things are a bit different. Starting the year in lockdown hindered that 'January sale experience' for many people. Browsing through different shops in your typically busy store was something that was missing. It meant that there was nowhere else to go to be hyped up about sales, except your email inboxes overflowing with messages of ‘50% off!’ and ‘Up to 80% off, ends tomorrow!’.

In ways, this marketing tool is no different from other years. January sales are still happening, but the focus has shifted entirely onto their digital storefronts. Brands are weaponising Instagram with ads and enticing us in with offers of an extra 20% off if you complete your order today. Some may wait to update their wardrobes in the January sales, especially given the expensive Christmas season. Arguably, it could be perceived as a form of self-care and a way to treat yourself after spending money on Christmas gifts for others. (It could also just be our minds tricking us to spend more money while giving us the impression that we’re saving). However, we can certainly mark the beginning of the year without binging on sales. There are some great alternatives. 

Starting off the year with a fashion mood-board is one of them. It helps identify items you actually want and need and allows you to shop with purpose rather than doing so out of boredom. It is something that you can easily add to and remove from. The images help bring inspiration and focus as we curate our wardrobes. We can also take the minimalistic approach and decide to declutter our wardrobes. This can be just as rewarding. Letting go of clothes brings charity and actually helps us identify the items we have as opposed to our wardrobes being bottomless pits of clothes. We can also swap pieces of clothing with friends and family. These alternatives allow us to save money and even make money too. With websites like Depop and eBay, selling unwanted clothes is a viable and easy option for anyone trying to do so. These methods are lockdown friendly and still promote sustainability.

This year is different from other years, perhaps in a good way as it can foster a new approach to how we shop for clothes. With more and more people buying clothes online, people may take an interest in slow fashion and truly see its benefits.