Author – Maurice Levardo
There are so many ways to reduce our environmental footprints and eco-conscious consumers are looking for such ways to do their bit. As consumers, we are naturally a part of global consumption and it’s become increasingly important to consider where exactly our products are coming from. So sustainable shopping is a great place to begin.
What Exactly Is Sustainable Shopping?
Sustainable shopping is consciously recognizing that everything we buy has social, environmental and health impacts. So choosing to buy quality over quantity can make a lasting impact on overproduction and can bring more balance to our ecosystems. So how can we shop more responsibly? By actively choosing products and services that are crafted to last longer and support ethical manufacturing processes.
Often, we don’t usually think about the labor, raw materials and energy required to create the items we buy for our homes. Here are a few important questions to keep in mind when shopping:
• What resources are required to make this product?
• Who is making this product and where is it coming from?
• How much energy is being used to create this product?
• Is there a better alternative I can choose instead?
The Importance of Ethical Sourcing
Ethical sourcing ensures that products being are obtained through responsible and fair trade methods. This means companies can ensure that all their workers are given fair wages, provided with safe and clean working environments, and their human rights are respected. Further, farm-based products are being grown in organic farms and mining of minerals is done in places of no conflict.
While these factors seem to be basic requirements, there are a large majority of companies that don’t practice ethical production due to these reasons:
• To reduce production and operating costs
• To meet sale requirements and customer demands
• To increase product availability
How Can I Become A Better Sustainable Shopper?
One easy step towards becoming a more sustainable shopper is to research the brands and companies you are spending your money on. Our purchasing power is bigger than we think and by understanding the manufacturing process a company uses, you can make a better decision on what to buy.
Ethical sourcing and sustainable shopping mean you have to pay much more than regular market prices. But it is an opportunity to be more mindful and a chance to help our environment and our communities. Prioritize businesses that focus on using renewable resources such as organic or natural materials.
As sustainability becomes more accessible than ever, companies are becoming much more transparent with their products. Take a quick moment to study your brands’ websites and their sustainability initiatives. If this information is nowhere to be found, chances are, they are not worth buying from. Many brands also give back to local communities or are members of charitable organizations. By supporting these companies, you’ll know exactly where your money is going to and what communities you are helping.
Sustainable Shopping in Everyday Life
Buying second-hand or vintage is another excellent way of shopping more sustainably; not only is this a great way to reduce your consumption, you are also avoiding overproduction and saving money. Another easy tip is as simple as ditching plastic. Bring your own reusable bags for your groceries or take some time to invest in an eco-friendly home makeover with more reusable and long-lasting products.
We know it can be a little challenging to shop for products that align with all of these values. To make that search easier for you, here is a list of online stores that focus on ethically sourced products and ensure sustainable shopping:
- ONEarth is a sustainable lifestyle products brand that offers a wide assortment of handcrafted and plastic-free alternatives in India.
- Farm4u India is an online initiative to supply organic and naturally grown farm products to the Indian market. They organically grow vegetables and cultivate crops in natural growth cycles using bio-based products and eco-friendly cultivation techniques.
- Brown Living is one of India’s first plastic-free marketplaces for a range of every day use products, specially curated for a sustainable, vegan, chemical-free and zero waste lifestyle.
- Ullisu Store is a one-stop shop for all essential sustainable swaps you need. They ensure every product listed on their store are crowd favorites and something that can help you reduce environmental impact in every area of your life.
- Going Zero came into being to provide a conscious, eco-friendly alternative to people who opt for a zero-waste lifestyle.
- Conscience Nook is an ecosystem of brands aimed to reduce the use of plastic and toxin-oriented items in our everyday life.
- GoodStuff is a discovery platform for sustainable products. The company is driven by environmental responsibility and it features eco-friendly brands that support eco-conscious lifestyles, wellness, fashion and more.