In a world filled with quick fixes and instant gratification, it’s never been easier to click “buy now” and have an item delivered to your doorstep almost immediately.
While new technological innovations have led us to solid improvements in the way we create and consume certain products, the vast majority of new products are created in questionable supply chains from questionable materials with planned obsolescence at the core. ‘spirit.
The solution to this overconsumption problem is multi-faceted, but today, more than ever, consumers are choosing to shop with their values in different ways.
Participation in the circular economy
One step is to reduce our purchases of new items. Resources like Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and other online exchange companies make it easy to connect with others selling lightly used items they no longer need.
Going to the thrift store before entering a fast fashion retailer is now considered a cool thing to do (who doesn’t want to be perceived as trendy?) and come up with creative outfits based on your current style (not future) the wardrobe is a challenge that many accept.
As Small Brands Lead the Way, Consumers Reward Them
According to McKinsey, one in four consumers worldwide say they plan to focus more on environmental issues and will pay more attention to social aspects in their shopping behavior.
And in a 2021 study by iStock, nearly a quarter of Americans said they shopped with small businesses and brands rather than large corporations to show their commitment to the environment and sustainability initiatives. .
Consumers are turning to brands like Nisolo, Avocado Mattress and Dropps as leaders in fashion, home and cleaning spaces that continually prioritize ethical supply chains and ingredients that aren’t harmful to the planet. .
Prioritize green purchases in big-box stores
When buying local isn’t an option, it’s important to make sure big companies know that consumers will prioritize more eco-friendly items when choosing from an assortment on a shelf.
The same study from iStock mentions that more than half of American consumers (55%) say they only buy from brands that strive to be eco-responsible. This number increases significantly to 72% for Millennials, with Gen Z at 64% and Gen X at 53%.
Major chains like Target, ALDI and many others have begun to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability by implementing programs focused on reducing plastic packaging and bags, in-store recycling and new sustainable products.
Greening finances to better align with values
Buying with purpose doesn’t just involve the companies and brands you support. It also means taking a closer look at the financial institutions through which you make these purchases.
Greening your financial assets can significantly reduce your carbon footprint, as most banks choose to invest their money in industries powered by fossil fuels. That’s why companies like Aspiration, a digital banking alternative, are taking off.
Aspiration’s many initiatives – including fossil fuel-free deposits and investments, planting a tree with every purchase, and automatic clearings built into your debit or credit card – have enabled its seven million members to spend and save in a way that matches their values. .
“Money has a powerful impact, and whether you know it or not, the decisions you make every day about how to spend and save your money can help fuel or fight the climate crisis,” says Andrei Cherny, CEO of Aspiration. “We’re creating the new category of Sustainability as a Service with the goal of empowering our members to embed climate change actions into what they do every day in a way that makes it easy, automated , engaging and yet extremely powerful. ”
While Cherny says Aspiration has pioneered a focus on sustainability in finance and bringing it to people’s everyday spending and saving, it’s still just the beginning.
“Today we see a growing number of companies and organizations extending this effort through important work in areas such as sustainable investing, similar to our own Aspiration Redwood Fund, helping to democratize this process, or with others funding climate solutions themselves,” he says.
Eco-confusion leads to dependence on community resources and experts
Defining the term “sustainable product” and finding labels that fit this definition can be tricky: more than 500 eco-friendly and sustainable labels exist today in 199 countries.
Many consumers find it difficult and confusing to buy products that are better for the planet. So they are increasingly turning to the community of sustainable influencers and trusted expert-led platforms like Brightly to help offload the green search component. But it’s a good sign.
This means that many consumers are open-minded and ready to learn how they can do better. Brightly alone is a platform that reaches millions, and our community is growing every day. Now, more than ever, we’re seeing consumers stepping up to make a change, and those small changes are making a global difference.
Salvation! Want to help us change the world every day with easy, doable, and eco-friendly tips and tricks? Sign up for the Brightly Spot and join our movement of over a million changemakers.
Aspiration Spend & Save Accounts are cash management accounts offered by Aspiration Financial, LLC (“AF”), a registered broker-dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC. The Aspiration Zero MasterCard is issued by Beneficial State Bank, Member FDIC and offered by Aspiration Card Services, LLC (“ACS”). AF and ACS are subsidiaries of Aspiration Partners, Inc. (“Aspiration”). Neither Aspiration nor any of its subsidiaries is a bank and is not affiliated with any other named entity.