The search for fair, conscious products is coming out of the dark.
This is evidenced by the rise of products committed to producing in a sustainable way that is good for both the people and our planet.
In fact, 90 per cent of global consumers are now more likely to switch to a brand associated with a good cause.
Conscious consumerism is a movement of people who are demanding transparency as they take an increasing interest in the ethical practise of those they buy from, they seek out ways to make positive decisions about what to buy and they look for a solution to the negative impact consumerism is having on our planet.
Issues such as environmentally conscious manufacturing processes, equal pay, responsible farming practices and overproduction of goods are all at the forefront of consumers’ minds when making a purchase decision.
This leads to businesses to keep up with the increasing demand for authenticity, ethical behaviour and transparency in all areas of the supply chain, along with the environmental and social impact of the production, consumption and disposal.
This shows that being a conscious consumer is starting to be quite complex and that it’s not only about organic food, it also includes sustainable business development within beauty products, fashion, banking, and travelling.
This is the start of a long journey, but if we are going to tackle the enormous impact of the current production levels are having on the world, we must begin by understanding where the products are coming from.
Technology might be a key element to deal with this challenge, as social media, open data, and apps can be a game changer for the consumers.
Take Time to Ask Questions
Be prepared on spend more money, opting to buy fewer items of higher quality from brands you are confident in and trust. You can go to your local farmers marked, buy second-hand, charity shops, vintage and so on, this might leave you with a fairly clear conscious.
When you do buy, take a minute to think about the quality of the product, and ask yourself questions like:
- “Do I really need it?”
- “Is the product certified organic?”
- “is it made/grown locally?”
- “Is it made from recycled materials?”
- “Is it certified Fairtrade?”
Choose organic products. Pesticides have been linked to a wide range of human health issues, ranging from short-term impacts such as headaches and nausea to chronic impacts like cancer, reproductive harm, and endocrine disruption.
Traces of these chemicals can be found not only in our food but also in such as our clothing, even after washing, which has been linked to numerous health complications for both the consumers and people along the production.
Today it’s difficult to find somewhere where pesticides are not used.
From the bug spray under the kitchen sink to your clothes, beauty products, and crop dusting acres of farmland, our world is filled with pesticides. In addition, pesticides can be found in the air we breathe, the food we eat, our soil and the water we drink.
Not only is it harmful to humans, but it can also damage agricultural land by harming beneficial insect species, soil microorganisms, and worms which naturally limit pest populations and maintain soil health.
The pesticides are weakening the plant root system and immune system, reducing the concentration of essential plant nutrients in the soil such as nitrogen and phosphorous.
By avoiding pesticides, you have to choose organic products, this way you are looking after your own health and wellbeing, along with our planet and animals.
Living more consciously is like eating healthy: it’s not sustainable having only salads for 4 days and then munching on junk food for the next three days.
You need to work on it every day, you need to find your balance – what works for you?
Maybe a local veg box scheme, eat less and better quality meat, find brands you value, less packaging, bring your own reusable coffee cup to your local café.
Knowledge has always been powerful, so make sure you educate yourself. Do your own research, and don’t believe everything people say – good or bad.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions, look into brand websites and check out their ethical commitments and research well.
The more you know, the safer you feel about your decisions as well. There is also a few handy apps that can make your shopping easier, such as “Buycott”, “Healthy Living” and “Food Scores”.
This article was originally published on HBC Magazine and written by Lilo Ask-Henriksen.