Buying into responsible and conscious consumerism

Welcome to #TRVSTLOVES. We curate news, ideas and inspiration from across the world which demonstrate how real action can accomplish positive social impact. This month we’re looking at responsible and conscious consumerism. We explore why it's so important, and what you can do to make informed purchases.

What exactly is conscious consumerism?

Let's start with a bit of an overview: what exactly is conscious consumerism? It's actually about being informed. It's about getting to know the businesses that you buy from and deciding whether or not you support their ethics and ethos. You might agree with their approach to animal testing, sustainability and/or equal pay.  Or you might oppose their use of certain ingredients. As responsible and conscious consumers, each time we make a purchase we have a choice to support great companies or "buycott" those who follow negative practices.

Responsible consumerism goes mainstream

At the start of this year, Forbes published 6 global trends and brands for 2019. Guess what made the list? That's right, responsible consumerism. Whilst it's not a new concept, Forbes predicted that 2019 was the year for conscious consumerism to go mainstream. With apps and blogs popping up all over the place, information on individual companies is definitely becoming more accessible, and companies know they have to be more transparent about their practices. Despite this, we think we're still a few steps away for everyday consumers to make easy, smart choices and for long-standing, convenient buying habits to be challenged.

Ethical consumerism impacts the wine industry

Ethical consumerism impacts the wine industry

A new report shows a growing awareness in sustainable, organic and lower alcohol wines (known as SOLA). Ethical consumerism in this industry means that companies are having to up their game, particularly as evidence from Wine Intelligence suggests that young people are willing to pay a premium for sustainable, organic and fairtrade wines, What's helpful, is that rather than having to scout out information on individual company websites, many wines now share this information directly on their labels which makes it much easier for consumers to make an informed choice.

The consequences of fashion

The fashion industry generates a lot of waste, infact almost 20% of global waste water is produced by the fashion industry alone. So what's being done to reduce waste, and what can we do? Well, to address the waste of water, a process known as MBBR (Moving Bed Bioreactor) has been developed: it has a greater capacity and leaves less of a footprint than conventional methods. It may not be the answer to everything, but it's a start. And for us, the consumers, well, we can investigate the companies we buy from, we can reuse clothes and learn to repair them rather than throwing them away. For more info have a read about sustainable fashion and some tips on how to choose the right fashion for a better planet. Time to brush up on the sewing skills then!

The real cost of low prices and free delivery

The real cost of low prices and free delivery

An interesting article here on why sustainability and responsible retail are one and the same. The issue in question is the free delivery and returns offer that so many companies provide, and so many consumers expect. Yet these expectations squeeze profit margins and put supply chains under pressure, so somewhere and somehow the cycle needs to be broken, Of course, it's really convenient to shop online, it's a privilege we're all familiar with, but perhaps when prices are low and delivery is free, it's worth us considering the real cost of the items we are buying.

Sam is a professional writer with a particular interest in promoting sustainable practices for small businesses.
Featured in Sustainable Living
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