We live in a society full of people and companies telling us what we need in order to be happy, and constantly associating material things with personal success. Specialists claim that never before in human history people were so materialist in a bad and dangerous way. I am not just talking about luxury purchases, but about everyday consumption choices, about sustainability.
The fact is we live in a limited resources planet. A single plastic item takes about 450 years to degradation. Imagine all the plastic bags you get when you buy something at a supermarket, a pharmacy or fast fashion store, for exemple, and throw in your trash can as soon as you get home. They gonna be in nature for half a century. But, even worst is to think about how their production releases millions Co2 in the atmosphere. This is really a push to choose paper and tissue bags, right?
To become a conscious consumer is a process. I have being in this path for about 6 years now, and I can tell you changing is very hard. Although, all the effort is really rewarding. I have saved a lot of money since I started to ask myself: “Do I really need this? Does it have a reasonable price? Is this company really deserving of my money?”. I also have became a better citizen. Now, I always try to support small local producers and keep informed about the big companies I buy from. I use to research if they do fair trade and give their employees good working conditions.
I LOVE fashion! However, many companies in that industry are not worried about the environment, about the people that work for them and about their consumers. Even many luxury brands do not have ethical commerce practices. When I was in my early twenties, I used to dream about buying a Louis Vuitton handbag. I worked really hard and saved money, but never had the courage to spend so much in one single bag. So I used my money in a 2 weeks travel to Buenos Aires, Argentina. It was a much more exciting experience. And I felt really good 3 years after that, when I found Louis Vuitton does burn the excedent of every collection to keep their prices insane. I mean they prefer to burn products they do not sell as expected, then go on sale. And this is an usual crazy practice many luxury companies do to keep their status. Then, their clients can feel very special for having things that most people in the world cannot have. Yes, it’s such a mean game!
So, being a conscious consumer is a smart way to make companies re-think their market practices, support and improve local economies, as well as create healthier and sustainable life styles for you and your future generations. An easy way to start is to value quality over quantity and always asking yourself: “Do I really need this?”.
Let me know what do you think about this issue!