5 Steps to Become a More Socially Conscious Consumer
Looking to become a more Socially Conscious Consumer? Here’s how:Buy fewer clothes
The first step towards being a socially conscious consumer is becoming aware of what you have too much of. The answer for most of us is CLOTHES. If you think about it, over the years, you may have purchased a lot of clothes which are cheaply made with inexpensive labour and low quality materials. ‘Fast fashion’ became a huge thing in the early 2000’s and trained us to think that clothes are disposable. You’re buying them one season and chucking them the next.
Living like this may have become a habit but you can fight it easily. Research shows that you only wear 20% of the clothes in your closet regularly. So, if you’re only going to wear those few staples religiously, you should probably start focusing on buying sustainably made and high-quality clothes. We agree they may cost more money upfront but you’ll find yourself saving money and the earth over time.
Get creative before recycling
Throwing away your stuff is so passe. All the socially conscious consumers? They’re getting creative with the products they’re done using. Fixing, up-cycling and reusing is what it’s all about now. Often, we think our products have served their purpose and need to be thrown out but there is lots that can be done to save them from getting recycled or even worse reaching the landfills.
When we say get creative, the world is your oyster really. You could learn how to repair certain gadgets which might still have a chance at life (we strongly advise youtube videos) or you can make a new fashion statement by reusing and sewing the fabric from some old clothes together. By doing this, you’re being socially conscious but also getting involved in a fun activity which can help hone your skills. Who knows, you might end up inventing something in the process!
Take control of your money
You might be surprised to see this step but financial institutions and products are a big part of the socially conscious equation. Ultimately, where our money goes is what it’s all about. We’re not only referring to the money we directly spend when we’re out shopping but also about our banking, saving and investing habits.
We all know that the money we leave in our bank accounts doesn't just quietly sit there. Instead, banks are investing it in different projects and opportunities. So, you want to make sure you're banking with socially responsible institutions who are more likely to use your money to fund projects that are beneficial to society. Some examples of socially responsible banks in the UK are Triodos Bank and Starling Bank
A lot of people become ‘green consumers’ but have the tendency to offset the benefit of going green by consuming more. So, it’s not just about being greener but questioning how and how much you’re consuming. The simplest solution to this is to think of your shopping habits carefully. Just simply getting rid of those impulse buys could start your journey into minimalism.
What are the benefits of minimalism? Well, one of the big benefits is saving money but minimalism also encourages you to be socially responsible. For example, you’re living less wastefully and considering the impact of waste on society, it’s understandable why minimalism is trending.
Hold companies accountable
It’s more than just what the tags say, if you want to be really socially conscious, you need to go a step further. You can do this by asking retailers and producers to disclose where and how their products are made. Remember, you’re paying for their products so you have every right to know these small but important details. If the company you’re buying from isn’t really socially responsible then your purchase won't be either.
If you’re going to get involved in holding companies accountable then email them, message them on social media, comment on their posts. Finding out more about their sustainability commitments and production can help inform your choices and make them more socially conscious!
We hope you've found the 5 steps to become a more socially conscious consumer useful. The main takeaway is that there’s a lot of different factors which contribute to more socially responsible choices. As a first step, you can evaluate your purchasing habits. If you want to go that extra step, use your voice to help inform the purchasing habits of other consumers!