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Consumers Are Just as Responsible as Brands for Sustainability

When you buy a product, you aren’t just paying to acquire it but investing in it as well. Every item purchased can have a lasting impact throughout its life cycle — one that can even turn a sustainable purchase into an unsustainable one, purely through how it’s treated. Ahead, we explore the ways in which consumers are responsible for a chain reaction of their decisions.

Small Actions Lead to Large Consequences

The butterfly effect’ or ‘chaos theory’ is a phenomenon that was conceived by the late American meteorologist, Edward Lorenz who gained powerful insight about the way nature works in his experiments with forecasting weather. The theory claims that a seemingly tiny, insignificant event or circumstance can have a colossal influence in shaping the way a large, complex system evolves into the future. Simply put, small changes can have large consequences. And we have seen this materialise in many ways, but more significantly in the form of surging plastic waste. A careless act of using a disposable plastic bottle has now led to staggering estimates of nearly 1,500 plastic bottles ending up as waste in landfills or getting thrown in the ocean every second.

Choices Can Make or Break the Environment

As consumers, almost every choice we make on a daily basis shapes our larger ecological, social and economic reality. We cannot comment on a brand’s apathetic attitude towards climate change, and then not also question our own lifestyle choices.

According to Harvard Business Review, Unilever estimates that almost 70% of its carbon footprint depends on which products customers choose and whether they use and dispose of them in a sustainable manner.

They could be doing this by conserving water and energy while doing the laundry or recycling containers properly after use. 

Almost everything we use, eat or wear as consumers is connected to a tangled web of trade relations that we are responsible for being a part of. When we make a Sustainable Women's Clothing purchase, we are explicitly encouraging that manner of doing business. In other words, by giving a brand our money, we are funding them to carry on the way they are. The endless consumption of Fast Sustainable Fashion brands has led them to gain billions in market valuations. Where fast fashion has capitalised on cheap goods, the planet has paid a hefty price. 

By investing in consciously made products and treating them with the same amount of care as they were made, we can potentially alter our current consumption crisis and look forward to a sustainable future.    

Published by: Jharna pariani/ 2020-12-06

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