Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a move, to a new home or city, and wondered how you managed to acquire so many things? That’s one moment in time that puts our level of consumption into perspective, but the reality is, it’s quite easy to accumulate stuff, even without trying or spending a lot. We live in a society where luxuries are affordable, so we consume, consume, consume. But with a rise in trends like minimalism (thanks to the Marie Kondo's of the world) and big corporations finally making efforts to become more sustainable (like Nike and H&M), there’s a big push towards improving our global impact and thinking about how we spend our money.
At Everviolet, it is part of our mission to do what is best for both our bodies and the planet. We use certified sustainable jersey in all of our garments, and we work only with ethical manufacturers who treat their employees well. In fact, we take great pride in developing close relationships with every person who participates in the making of our clothes. We also use recycled and/or reusable packaging and shipping materials, and our panty liners are compostable!
Conscious consumption is an umbrella term that simply means engaging in the economy with more awareness of how our consumption affects society at large. Shopping more sustainably, with the intent to care and preserve the environment, is one way to consume more consciously. But how else can we do our part and minimize our ecological footprint? There are many ways to become a conscious consumer, even if we're short on time or money.
Shop quality over quantity.
The sustainability movement often gets a bad rap for being more on the expensive side, but those better-made, better-for-the-planet products end up saving us a lot of money down the road. Why? Because we ultimately end up buying less! Sustainable products are often higher upfront investments, but we get what we pay for. And if we buy quality, it lasts. In this case, less is absolutely more, and our purchases won’t just become another item to throw into a landfill.
Research our favorite brands.
It’s important to know who made our clothes. Transparency is key. Researching the companies we buy from and learning where they stand on issues like labor compensation, working conditions, material sourcing and waste is crucial. And it's not hard to find out where our favorite brands' fabrics come from. Are they organic? Are they sustainable? Do they harm their native eco-system in the production of them? These are all questions that matter for our bodies and our Earth.
Reduce our footprint.
If we want to get to the bottom of our own carbon footprint, the E.P.A.’s Carbon Footprint Calculator and The Nature Conservancy Carbon Calculator can tell us how much our day-to-day habits affect the environment. There are also some relatively simple ways to adjust our lifestyle and minimize our footprint such as traveling less, shopping locally and organically, and buying quality and/or lightly used clothing.
Buy less and embrace minimalism.
Conscious consumption isn’t just about being a little greener; it's about questioning how, and how much, we consume. There are minimalist movements like the Buy Nothing Project, The Year of Less and the KonMari Method that are challenging us to think more about our shopping habits. Buying less not only saves us money, but being a minimalist also encourages us to dispose of less. Consumer waste has a huge impact on our environment and climate, so it’s easy to see why this movement is now having a moment.
Shop ethical, not just sustainable.
Sustainability and conscious consumption is not just about our carbon footprint. It’s also about using our purchasing and consumption power to make the world a better and more equitable place. We can do this by vowing to only shop brands with a mission or support those that align with our ethos – making an intentional effort to buy from small, local, female, Latinx or BIPOC-owned business too! We can put our dollars to work for what and who we believe in -- as diverse and balanced as our values.
Repair our things!
True conscious consumerism involves being aware of an entire product life cycle – not just what takes place during the moment of purchase. Companies like Patagonia offer a lifetime repair warranty to encourage us to keep the things we buy. Mending holes and fixing our garments is actually much easier than it seems. Pinterest, and now TikTok, are full of DIY repairs and projects that we can do.
Think about what would happen if we all applied a little more consciousness to the shopping and busying processes. Local communities and farmers would thrive, landfills would be less full, independent and mission-based businesses would achieve more success and hopefully, over time, planet Earth might start to heal. So, next time we pull our our iWallets or credit cards, let's all do our part in shopping smart and consuming with consciousness.