How To Be A More Conscious Consumer (And The Right Way To Inspire Others To Do The Same)
Earlier this month, the New York Times published an excellent article on how to make the shift to conscious consumerism. Three of my favorite ideas summarized here:
Look for B Corp Certification: as I've mentioned before here, B Corps are legally required to meet the highest standards of environmental and social responsibility. These rigorous standards are evaluated by B Lab, a third party certifying body, which means that these businesses claim of "social responsibility" actually has teeth.
Buy less, of higher quality: With fast fashion being drawn into the spotlight because of its unfair labor practices and toll on the environment, there's a definite movement to purchase fewer, high quality pieces that will last for many years and can be donated or sold secondhand. Secondhand shopping is also becoming an increasingly popular way to minimize your environmental footprint.
While these are all important, it's just as important to talk about these lifestyle changes in a way that can inspire, not shame, others to do the same. A seminar I attended at SXSW mentioned a study that showed that if people felt like they were judged about their negative-impact purchasing/lifestyle choices (like purchasing fast fashion or not recycling) they became desensitized towards the issue and resistant to learning about it.
When people have easy, approachable (dare I say, fun) ways that they can make more socially-minded purchasing decisions, it increasingly becomes easier for them to make those decisions more frequently. I'm talking clothing swap brunches, farmers market feature days at restaurants, and the like.
Let's create fun, easy ways for people to have meaningful interactions with the goods they consume and purchase and the businesses that bring them to market. Change requires all, not some, of us.