Things Sustainable and Ethically Aware Brands Have in Common
Whether you’re shopping for clothes, cosmetics, electronics, or something entirely different, there are a few traits that all eco-conscious brands share. By being aware of these traits, it’ll be easier for you to choose brands that are worthy of your investment. So, if you want to know that your money is well-spent, here are a few things to keep in mind when shopping.
If an item looks like it would take you more time to unpack it than to put it on or use it, the brand that makes it clearly does not care much about the environment. However, if the item you’re interested in comes in biodegradable packaging, it might be worth buying.
So, in short, focus on brands that use biodegradable packaging and don’t use more packaging than necessary, especially when shipping items – you don’t need a huge box and five square meters of plastic bubble wrap for an item the size of your hand.
A Short and Clear List of Natural Ingredients
If you’re shopping for makeup, always check the list of ingredients. If it’s short and if all the ingredients sound familiar to you, it’s a good sign. You can find a list of ingredients that you should avoid when shopping for cosmetics, but the general rule is that the shorter and simpler it is, the better.
As for clothes, focus on natural fabrics rather than synthetics. Some synthetic materials also release microplastics into the water whenever you wash them, so you probably don’t want to wear those.
Moreover, if you’ve been thinking about doing a home makeover, you should know that furniture items and accessories can be made of eco-friendly materials too. So, for example, you can find a quality jute rug that would fit any decor style, and you’d feel much more comfortable in your home knowing that you’ve made an eco-conscious choice.
Fair Payment and Transparency
This is related to where the item you’re interested in is made, as you want to focus on items that are made in countries that have high labour standards. So, while items made in China might be cheap, they are often made by people who are underpaid, so you should look for more details. You want to know that the brand in question is paying their workers properly.
Furthermore, focus on brands that are transparent about the manufacturing process. If they are telling you exactly how all the manufacturing elements affect the retail price and how their manufacturing process looks like, you can assume that they care about you and the environment.
Additionally, even if they are still working on their sustainability practices – but are open about the areas in which they are trying to improve, it’s safe to say that they are honest and self-aware.
Respectable Treatment of Employees
When a company mistreats the employees, it very quickly becomes public. However, even though it is less talked about, there are many brands that truly care about their employees.
They show it either through various benefits and discounts or through longer parental leave options and more paid days off. They care about the safety of their employees, and they encourage them to be eco-friendly as well.
So, do some research on the experiences of people working for different companies, and you should have no trouble finding out which companies treat their employees fairly and with respect.
Investing in a Good Cause
Although this is not always important, and it’s not always a sign of being sustainable or ethical, it is something to consider. If you know that a certain brand is donating a portion of its earnings to a good cause, it’s safe to say that they care.
Some companies choose to donate to organisations that focus on deforestation, some choose to focus on the 3rd world countries and people that need medical help, while some focus on endangered animals.
That being said, some brands are only doing it to attract more customers, while the money they are investing in philanthropy is only there to cover for the lack of sustainability. So, keep that in mind as well, and do your research.
In this day and age, being eco-conscious is essential, as the consequences of climate change are already very clear. Therefore, everybody should do their best to preserve the environment, and one way of doing that is paying attention to the brands you’re buying from. So, consider the listed things, keep them in mind when shopping, and you’ll know that your money is well-spent.