More and more people are becoming aware of the impact our daily activities and habits have on the world around us. In fact, 66% of global consumers are willing to pay more forsustainable goods. If you’re looking to become a more ethical consumer and make better shopping choices in 2019, here are some simple things you can do that actually can have a big impact.
- Stop buying things you don’t need
If you want to shop more ethically, perhaps the first thing to consider is whether you really need to go shopping in the first place. Do you really need to buy that new pair of shoes? Could you resist the temptation to upgrade your smartphone yet again and make your already perfectly good iPhone last another year?
Reducing your product consumption is good news for both the planet and your bank balance. What’s more, there’s something incredibly freeing about having less ‘stuff’ cluttering up your life. Think quality over quantity.
- Choose brands that are open about their sustainable commitments
If you’re trying to be a more responsible consumer, the second biggest thing you can do is to carefully consider who you choose to do business with and consciously pick brands that are open and transparent about their sustainable commitments.
As an example, high street retailer Debenhams is embracing sustainable fashion and has pioneered a number of successful initiatives that focus on promoting ethical trading standards and minimising its environmental impact. Debenhams is openly against animal testing and doesn’t sell any products made from fur, while it has also set some of the most ambitious carbon footprint targets in the whole industry and in 2018 successfully diverted around 97% of its waste away from landfill.
- Research the company to find out more
If you’re not sure about the environmental or social responsibility of a brand, it’s well worth doing some research before you decide to buy. As an example, websites like Rank a Brand publish detailed information about the sustainability of leading companies across numerous industries. It’s also worth looking out for relevant labels and certifications like Fairtrade and Cruelty Free that demonstrate ethical behaviour and social responsibility.
If you can’t find any information about the social or environmental credentials of a particular company, it’s worth getting in touch with them to ask. Any company that is genuinely committed to ethical trading should have no problem with this and will be more than happy to provide you with the information that you’re looking for.
- Buy second hand
Another quick and easy way to help the environment and save some money at the same time is to buy pre-owned goods. Charity shops and flea markets are a great place to source second-hand products, and the great thing is that it’s often not too difficult to come across some genuine bargains. In the UK, there are nearly 4,000 stores specialised in selling second-hand goods, so you’ll be able to get all kinds of things, including clothes and homewares. Have a good rummage around and you never know what you might find.
Do you shop ethically? Share any tips and suggestions with us.