Conscious Consumerism: Here To Stay?

Conscious Consumerism: Here To Stay?

When we make a purchase, there are a number of things that run through our brain before we decide whether to go through with it. These vary from price, to size, to look and feel, to delivery/location. However, there is a new factor that consumers are becoming increasingly aware of when making a purchase: sustainability.

Over the past few years, individuals have started being more conscious about where they spend their money and how the company utilises it. Many things come into play here, ranging from how a product is manufactured; how the workers are treated and paid; the fabrics/tools used in production; the companies carbon footprint; and the life cycle of a product.

Sustainability filters have been most apparent on online outdoor clothing stores such as Go Outdoors and Blacks. On these websites you can choose from Bluesign solutions (responsible and sustainable manufacturing of textile consumer products), MadeKind products (Berghaus’ approach to reduce their environmental impacts from production as well as commitment to craftsmanship and running the business ethically), as well as recycled and responsibly sourced materials. Cotswold Outdoor are another example of an outdoor clothing company offering sustainable filters when shopping - they provide recycled, Fairtrade, organic, vegan, and hemp alternatives.

There is an odd assumption that sustainable alternatives to clothing are ultimately more expensive. In an effort to combat this mindset, ASOS made a huge move in 2019 by introducing a ‘responsible filter’ to ensure sustainable shopping is easier, and more accessible to the masses. The fashion giant launched the feature to be applied in the search - in the same way as the usual price, style and size filters. The results will show items that have been made sustainably as well as pieces made from recycled fabrics and textiles, 100% organic cotton, or handmade to reduce water usage. This is a huge step in the right direction as more people can now shop guilt-free with a more sustainable shopping experience.

Other larger brands adopting similar features include The Body Shop, who reintroduced their Return, Recycle, Repeat scheme in an effort to reduce plastic waste and Waitrose who has been working with a “take your own tubs” initiative to reduce unnecessary packaging.

The clothing industry isn’t the only sector adopting sustainable features - there has been a campaign to update Airbnb’s search filter to include a ‘Green’ option to help travellers find eco-friendly accommodations that adhere to a higher standard of sustainability and recognise eco-minded hosts’ efforts to shrink their own carbon footprints. The eco-friendly features vary from clean-energy powered homes, using toxin-free cleaning products, reducing single-use plastic via reusable care products, carbon neutrality, and providing recycling and composting options. More and more travellers are looking for sustainable options. Campaign website state that 45% of travellers would prefer online booking sites offering sustainable or eco-friendly options.

It’s great to see so many brands adopting a more responsible approach to shopping and online booking systems, and it’s even better to see so many individuals heading towards more conscious consumerism. These are excellent, positive changes that we hope are here to stay! We would love to hear your thoughts on sustainable options when making a purchase.

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