Conscious Companies + Consumerism:
If you’ve been wanting to start shopping mindfully and supporting sustainable & ethical companies but don’t know where to start, we’ve got you! Now introducing our Sustainable Marketplace—our top picks in one place for you to explore and shop.
In this blog post we’ll cover the ins and outs of conscious consumerism, define buzzwords like “sustainable” and “ethical” and how they relate to business, discuss how to know if a brand is actually practicing what they preach, and provide a resource you can turn to for our sustainable business suggestions (both local and global).
We’ve noticed lately that a lot of people and businesses seem to be more focused on sustainability and producing or buying products that are eco-friendly & ethically made—-and we are so excited about it!
Choosing to support businesses that make it a priority to produce their products sustainably and with natural ingredients is a great choice, not only for our planet but for your health as well. However, with sustainability becoming such a big trend lately, it can be difficult to know exactly what the word means and how it is being put into practice by brands.
What exactly does it mean when a brand calls themselves “sustainable”?
Sustainability is now a huge buzzword in the world of commerce, and has unfortunately become a blanket term that many brands can use to trick consumers into thinking that they run their business in a way that benefits both people and the environment, when the reality might be that they simply use ‘recycled’ materials for some of their packaging (which is a good start, but it’s just the beginning of the sustainable business path).
This is why it’s so important to educate yourself on what sustainable business practices actually are, and to always investigate and question any brand or company that uses this language to describe themselves. If they truly are a sustainable & ethical company, they will always be completely transparent with the consumer about how their products are produced, the initiatives they participate in to benefit the planet and their workers, and their reasoning behind the ‘sustainability language’ that they use.
If you are ever unsure about a certain brand’s commitment to sustainable & ethical production, you should always reach out to them and ask well-thought-out, hard-hitting questions to investigate the legitimacy of their claims.
As said before, if this is an important issue for them and they truly are committed to sustainability, they should be more than happy to answer your questions and provide total transparency when it comes to their business practices.
If they are hesitant to answer, or respond with vague answers and refer you to the ‘sustainability language’ on their website, this is a red flag and a sign that you should pursue the issue further.
Unfortunately, it is okay for brands to call themselves sustainable even if they are not fully committed to it, because this word is so vague and difficult to define. However, they do need to be completely transparent with their customers about how their products are made and why they use the term ‘sustainable’ to describe themselves, so you can and should ask them to do this.
When legitimately sustainable brands use this kind of language, this is what it typically means:
- ‘Sustainable’: Triple bottom-line business model: People, planet, and profit
- ‘Ethical’: No slave labor, gender and racial equity, no animal testing
- ‘Fair-Trade’: Living wage for workers from all around the world
- ‘Eco-Friendly’: recycled packaging, natural or organic ingredients
- ‘Sustainably-Sourced’: commonly used term related to a commodity or industry—no over fishing, forest certified
Click here to see our more in-depth blog post on the definition of sustainability.
If you are unsure of whether a company is truly sustainable, here are some questions you should ask:
- Why exactly do you call your business sustainable?
- What exactly makes your eco-friendly/sustainable/recycled etc.?
- What particular aspects of your production process & materials are eco-friendly and ethical?
How to be a Conscious Consumer:
A very common thing to hear when discussing eco-friendly & mindful shopping is “I’d love to support more sustainable and ethical brands, but their products are always more expensive.”
While it is true that many better-for-the-planet companies come with higher price tags, there are many that have been able to put their products at price points that compete with the likes of TJ MAXX and Target.
The fast fashion industry and huge companies like Amazon, Target, Walmart and others have been producing incredibly large amounts of products in a way that is fast, cheap, and meets rising consumer demands for years—-something that is very difficult to compete with for smaller companies who have higher expenses due to their commitment to sustainable & ethical production.
However, with the increased demand for businesses and products that benefit both their workers and the environment that we have seen in the past few years, it has become ‘fashionable to be ethical’, and smaller eco-friendly companies are quickly on the rise. And, even Walmart now has solar power generation, organic cotton, and organic product goals for its stores.
Here at Live Creative, our mission has always been to educate brands on sustainable business practices and to help them grow through authentic marketing and branding strategies and initiatives.
Live Creative Studio also supports the sustainable business global movement through this blog and our Facebook group: Sustainable Business Idea Exchange. We’re now moving into the Sustainable Marketplace with our top pics of sustainable brands and companies.
We are developing a curated one-stop sustainable brand resource just for you–the conscious consumer–so that you can hone your mindful shopping skills and turn to eco-friendly and people empowered companies for anything you might need. This list will be updated weekly with our new finds, so we invite you to visit the page frequently—our hope is that this will become your go-to resource to discover new brands & products, and get educated on sustainability.
On this page you’ll see all kinds of businesses, both local (i.e Durango, Colorado) and global, and a special little description that we’ve written about each of them, their commitment to sustainability, and what we think of their products. We do not get paid for this list, we just want to inspire more conscious consumerism and sustainable innovation in the global market place.
Commerce connects us all. May business lead the way on forming a new local and global economy that is profitable by benefiting people and the planet. Happy exploring our Sustainable Marketplace and thanks for being part of the movement to change business for good.
Let us know in the comments below if you think these new resources will be helpful for your brand or business, we’d love to hear from you!
Have a question or issue with digital marketing or social media for your business that we should cover in our next blog post? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us in the comments or by email—our goal is to provide insightful and valuable information that will help you grow your purpose brand.
Live Creative Studio is a marketing + sustainability agency based in Durango, Colorado with global impact. We work with purpose brands and companies of all shapes and sizes interested in or already launched on the sustainability path. We offer branding and logo design, graphic design, web development, digital marketing, and sustainability strategy.