How to Shop Sustainably in the Era of Mass Consumerism / Era of Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough 🙌🙌🙌

📸:: Cherie Birkner on Unsplash

Introduction: What is Sustainable Shopping?

Sustainable shopping is the act of purchasing products that have low-to-no impact and that are not harmful to society. This can range from anything like not buying plastic produce bags to opting for recyclable materials (or even no packaging) in the packaging of products.

There are many reasons why people choose sustainable shopping. Some do it to help reduce their carbon footprint, others because they want to preserve natural resources, and some do it for health reasons. Whatever the reason, sustainable shopping is a way of life that benefits everyone around us! 

The idea of ethical shopping is nothing new to us. The fashion industry, for example, has always had an influence on the environment, society and our wellbeing. Whether you’re familiar with ethical shopping or a newbie, it’s never too late to choose to shop sustainably.

So what does sustainable shopping mean? Sustainable shopping means doing your very best to shop in ways that are kinder to people and planet, prioritizing ethical fashion brands and labels with fair working conditions, sustainable fabrics and conscious consumerism ethics. 

What are the Benefits of Shopping Sustainably?

Shopping sustainably is a way to be kind to the environment, animals, and yourself. When you are shopping sustainably, you are considering the following factors:

  • The impact on animals
  • The impact on the environment
  • The impact on your health
  • The impact of your purchase on society

As a result, sustainable shoppers make decisions that will have an overall positive effect on the world and Mother Earth.

Eco-friendly consumerism is the idea of consuming less and more consciously. This means that you buy less, but buy better. Less stops to the local Goodwill every year! 

It’s time to get smart! This new trend is a reaction to the overconsumption and wastefulness of our society today. The environmental footprint of a person in American averages out to be between two and three acres of land every year.

Additional benefits of sustainable shopping:

  • Less waste: less physical waste from shopping bags or food packaging that you throw away, for example, means there's less trash that will end up in landfills or in our oceans.
  • Fewer chemicals: when we purchase products with unnecessary chemicals in them, we're putting those chemicals into the environment when we discard them.
  • Better for people and animals: with animal welfare in mind, the transition of materials is becoming more environmentally-friendly

The Challenges of Shopping Sustainably, and How to Solve Them

Today, a large proportion of society is striving to take care of the environment. The growing concern for the wellbeing of present and future generations has caused us, the society, to find the need to preserve what we have for them.

However, it is one more hop skip away from making that transaction and it can be challenging for consumers to shop sustainably. With that in mind, we will share the  challenges that come with sustainable shopping and what tools consumers can use to become a responsible shopper.

Sustainable shopping is hard, but you can do something about it. The more consumers demand sustainable products the more the business will cater to consumer needs. Let's go conscious shopping! 🙌

Not all products are labeled with environmental information and many people don’t know which products are better from an environmental perspective. Many businesses who operate ethically and sustainably usually communicate their information transparently.  However, as a shopper you can also do your own due diligence which includes research on the supply chain from the companies you engage with. Eco-conscious shoppers can also focus on shopping with small businesses, which are much more transparent about their business practices, from suppliers and materials used to employees and community involvement.

Another challenge for shopping sustainably is getting past the idea that you are giving up something good or paying more if you purchase sustainable goods. When you purchase a sustainable product you’re most likely paying up for higher quality goods and an ethical supply chain, from sourcing and equipment to the employees working for the end business.

All right, so you may not know where to start. It can be difficult to find ethical products, but the internet has made it easier. Do your research - there are plenty of resources available. Here’s just a few of our favorite sites throwing out the best shopping resources:

Living a sustainable life takes time and effort, which not everyone can afford or want to put in. However, it can save you money in the long run (CNBC). It will make you feel better about your purchases knowing that your choices are making an impact, not only on how consumers shop, but on society today.

Today's consumers still face many obstacles when trying to shop sustainably. We are optimistic that shopping sustainably will become easier. We are coming across brilliant sustainable brands everyday and we are so passionate about what we do! 

Need advice about shopping sustainably or ethically? Feel free to reach out with any questions!