Being a conscious consumer has become a grueling responsibility. There are so many things to consider, and so many questions to ask before you fully analyse if a product is mutually beneficial for humans, animals and the planet. But let’s face it, if responsible shopping was easy, our world would be in a much better place. With so much jargon on the internet in regards to conscious consumption - sustainable, conscious, eco-friendly, vegan, fair trade - we thought it was about time to step away from all those (something confusing) words, and focus on the basics.
For those new to conscious consumption, we give you a warm welcome (and a massive, virtual hug!), and present to you the 101 on making smarter and sustainable decisions as a responsible shopper:
Act local, think global
We love this saying, and it’s easy to wrap your mind around. By purchasing local products made and produced by entrepreneurs, artisans, farmers and craftsmen in your community, you are directly impacting your local economy. The more people who focus on buying and consuming small, the larger this beautiful ripple effect becomes, showing the big corporate guys that voting with your dollar really does make a global impact.
Less is more
Trends are so last year. Start purchasing timeless, versatile pieces for a seasonless wardrobe. Stop buying foods that aren’t in season, and eliminate how many times a year you find yourself indulging in mall therapy.
Tell a story
We love a good story, that’s why we’re all about buying fashion with a narrative to share. Like Brass & Unity, a jewelry brand handcrafting pieces made from previously fired brass shell casings, empowering veterans worldwide. Or Mashallah, jewelry upcycled from metals and materials sourced from landfills in Ghana, carefully made by village artisans. Sharing these stories everytime someone compliments a necklace, bracelet or summer dress is like painting a picture of hope and sustainability - how could you possibly every connect to a cheaply made product at a $5 sale at your local superstore?
Pronunciation is key
There is nothing yummy about a label filled with words that contain more letters than the alphabet. If you can’t pronounce it, you probably shouldn’t eat it, wear it or put it on your skin. In fact, you should research it, find out what it’s made up of, and write to companies that use it and ban it from human consumption! Whether it’s food, clothing or skin care products, think “if I can pronounce it and I can eat it, it’s safe”.
Waste isn’t waste until it is wasted
Where do your products go once they’ve reached the end of their lifespan? It’s always hard to consider the end when it’s just the beginning. Unfortunately, all products purchased will eventually see their end. That’s why it is so crucial to consider how to dispose of something when making a purchase. Will it end up in a landfill? How long does it take to decompose? Can it be upcycled into something new? Can it be recycled and broken down to close the loop? Understanding the lifecycle of a product is almost more important than any other purchase factor. Unsure about some of the items in your household? Take some time to research and investigate so you can move forward as a more responsible shopper, understanding the cycle and benefits of your everyday purchases.