How to be a Conscious Consumer
2020 has unleashed major social events as a result of Covid-19, the death of George Floyd, and other significant acts. Thus, consumer and retail industries are also going through complete disruption. For shoppers, finding authentic brands has proven to be much more difficult than it should. So, how then do we become conscious consumers and start buying more thoughtfully?
First of all, what does it mean to be a conscious consumer? In a nutshell, a conscious consumer is someone who does research beyond the label to find out a brand’s true social and economic positioning. In turn, a conscious consumer engages with those brands and understands how personal consumption can directly impact society at large.
Why is it important to be a conscious consumer you ask? Essentially, when we make a purchase from a company or brand, we are funding them to keep operating as they are. As consumers, the biggest influence we have is our spending power, the power of our purse. By choosing what brands to support and purchase from, we have the control to make positive changes in our communities.
Deciding to shop more thoughtfully puts money directly into the pockets of socially impactful companies and brands whose values align with our own. This doesn’t mean we have to stop supporting some of the well known large companies in order to support others, it just means that we should be more mindful about where we shop and who we are giving our money to. This can be as simple as switching your shampoo brand or choosing to buy from a small business instead of Amazon or those outlets that do not prioritize supporting small, women owned or minority owned businesses.
The hard truth is that we do not live in a utopia – the real world is unfortunately driven by the pursuit of profit, or so called "shareholder value". But more and more consumers demand that public companies not only focus on shareholder value, but those social values that impact society and the world. This demand is exactly what conscious consumption means: to hold public companies accountable for practices that advance sustainability, and stand for equality of women and minorities to name a few. By choosing to shop from ethical brands with the same values as our own, we are making a tangible contribution to support those we truly believe in!
Even though it seems pretty simple to do “homework” on a company or brand before buying from them, it still takes a significant amount of effort to do it right. So how do we actually become conscious consumers?
- Start by researching a brand online – look at their website, sourcing practices, ingredients, as well as articles about their mission and practices.
- Shop small – who is the founder? Who do they support and what are their personal values?
- Invest in quality products – the cheapest option is usually the cheapest for a reason. Buying high quality products that won’t break easily or be thrown away after first-use also reduces waste and our overall environmental impact.
- Use your gut – sometimes we just have to trust how we feel about a brand.
At Yes She May, we’ve made it easier for you to become a conscious consumer by carefully curating authentic women-owned brands who provide a unique and elevated product. We search the world to bring you sustainable and ethical brands that pay a living wage to their consumers while also creating well designed and high quality products to last.
This, week we wanted to highlight some of our favorite thoughtful products that are perfect for right now: