Fashion marketers have their work cut out these days. My inbox is flooded with emails trying to sell me overpriced sweatpants or Italian silk robes “perfect” for wearing while working from home. While I love the idea of lounging around in HK$4,000 (US$516) feather-trimmed PJs – just imagine the “likes” on Instagram – it’s hard to justify such a purchase with so many of the world’s economies falling into recession . But spending makes the world go around and the fashion industry, which includes myriad independent designers and brands, needs our money to survive. How and where consumers spend now will make all the difference in a post-pandemic world. In the past few weeks, scores of designers and retailers have vowed to donate a portion of their sales to Covid-19 relief funds and charities, which is a good first step. Another good move would be for consumers to support local businesses. While it’s hard to resist Bottega Veneta’s latest handbag, remember the brand is backed by a multibillion-dollar conglomerate with deep pockets. Local retailers and designers, however, can barely afford their rents and need a steady flow of cash to produce new collections. Going local with your wardrobe choices will also increase your style cred – there’s nothing more satisfying than others not being able to recognise the brand you are wearing. Investing in sustainable labels and pre-loved clothing are other options. These guys are already tackling some of the industry’s biggest problems, such as textile waste, setting standards for others to follow. It’s not just about buying brands that upcycle clothes or use eco-friendly fabrics; also look for designers that insist on ethical practices or that support minority communities. In the same vein, swap your fast-fashion fix for items that have a story and craft behind them. Mass production will always get the lion’s share of the business, but it’s small groups of craftsmen and artisans that most need your support. Not only do they put their hearts and souls into creating beautiful embroideries and textiles, they are also keeping traditions alive. There is a lot of talk in fashion circles about embracing diversity and these are the people who add colour and character to fashion’s often monotone world. And if none of that satisfies your shopping itch, let practicality drive your future purchases. Many of us have spent hours Marie Kondo-ing our wardrobes and, as much as we hate to admit it, we know what we need as opposed to what we want. If designer jeans are something you wear every day, feel free to stock up, especially as there are sales on now. The key is to buy something you know you will wear frequently once the world starts turning again. One thing’s for sure, it won’t include feather-trimmed PJs.