Bracketing. What is it and how do we stop doing it?

Bracketing. What is it and how do we stop doing it?

Have you ever bought multiples of the same dress, in different sizes or colours and then returned the ones that doesn't fit or suit you? So have we, but society does this so often it now has its own term Bracketing. 

Now at first look it’s quite a harmless thing to do right? You order the items, try them on then send them back. Especially whilst we are in lockdown and are unable to physically go to the high street or local stores and try items on. So what is the harm?

When you order items online from anywhere they go through a process. Picking the item, packing it and then shipping the item to you. When you return an item to a retailer however the process of return does not end in the way you think. Most returns do not end up being returned to the retailer, repackaged and sent out on a new order. It simply costs retailers too much to do this and currently the government is not huge on enforcing retailers to be more circular.So unfortunately, when you are bracketing rather than buying you are adding to landfill. This isn’t something that retailers will publish because if this was public knowledge people may not do it as often, and for retailers bracketing can lead to items being kept due to the laborious task of having to return items. 


So now that we know what bracketing is, how do we stop doing it?

For us it always comes back to what you already have in your wardrobe. Do you need to purchase this new item or do you have something similar? Could you buy it secondhand or swap for it instead? 

Being mindful of other options that do not create added waste is the best way to go. 

If purchasing is unavoidable and you are bracketing because you are unsure of sizing or colours, we suggest checking your wardrobe for the same brand and style in your wardrobe already, chances are the sizing will be similar to what you already have. Most websites also have size guides which do come in handy when you are shopping on an unfamiliar site. Smaller independent companies may be able to respond directly to any sizing enquiries saving the need to be bracketing at all. 

We think it’s important that this term of ‘bracketing’  becomes mainstream knowledge so please share this article with your mum, sister, friends and colleagues! 

SwapNation Team x