What is conscious consumerism?
Conscious consumers are awakened consumers. They shop with the social, environmental, ecological, and political implications of their purchases in mind. 80 billion garments are made every single year. That number won’t decline until demand does. And, demand won’t decline until we educate ourselves and learn to shop more wisely.
We are bombarded with ads everywhere we look. There is no escaping the constant buy, buy, buy of capitalism. Feeling down? Cheer up with some shopping. Feeling great? Celebrate with some shopping. The message that objects can make us feel better, look better, and be better has been drilled into our heads since childhood.
The aim of advertising and consumerism is to brainwash you into believing that saving money, while shopping, is your ultimate goal. It tries to tell you that quantity and super low prices will make you feel good about yourself. But, they shouldn’t. Those low prices come at a huge cost. That cost is absorbed by the places that produce these cheap goods, by the workers receiving inhumane wages and working in dangerous environments.
A conscious consumer limits what they buy to the necessities. And when they buy, they do so with more than the price tag in mind. Most of our natural resources are non-renewable. But, the ease and convenience of shopping has divorced us from that reality and the implications of our purchases.
Conscious consumers take into account the time and labor put into a product. They weigh its environmental impact. They are willing to pay more for a high quality product made ethically and sustainably. They want to feel good about what they are buying.
Unfair trade has become the norm and we must do our part to change that. We must seek out brands and products that are made with care and respect for animals, people, and the environment. The more we demand high quality products made responsibly, the more companies will hear our cries and begin to change their practices.
But at the same time, we must also realize that material things will never fulfill us and the less we buy the happier we might truly become.