While there is no straightforward way to answer that question without delving deeper, I will attempt to. I became aware of the importance of our actions on the environment at the early age of 8 and started using reusable shopping bags, avoided plastic bags as much as I could, and stopped bursting firecrackers entirely. Cut to today, where I am continuing to make conscious choices as an individual, like investing in classics, buying local, and thrift shopping (a personal favourite because of the element of vintage and I like to imagine how a piece is being passed from one person to another or even between countries!). Although I will be honest, price and convenience have taken over my decisions numerous times.
We are what we think (do, see, eat, believe….) and never before have we been enticed by such a plethora of options in food, fashion, entertainment, experiences, and basically anything that we can consume. Social media being the most prominent seductress of all. There is no dearth of information on anything.
In fact, there is an overload of information, but I would call it more of a revolution, nevertheless.
The social media revolution is one of the most substantial ways to access and propagate conscious consumerism. Want to know how sustainable a fashion brand really is? Check out their social media, their story, and the information relayed. (Like the ones of brands I’ve talked about on the platform). I personally love and advocate the fact that authenticity can be assessed, questions can be asked, and it leads to an easy decision making process.
Apart from the backlash on overconsumption of social media, unreal standards, and filters (Norway has recently made it illegal for influencers to post retouched photos without adding a disclaimer that they’ve been edited), it is eventually a tool that can help create transparency and accountability. Something that every individual has the right to. Gone are the days of overused hashtags of #sustainable #ethical and #organic. We are in the #newage of #authenticity.
We live in a consumerist environment, which means we have the power and the choice to make the change. It is our own personal journey, and although there is no standard protocol to it, saying no to buying more is the bottomline.
That brings us to the next question - does buying less affect the employment of the millions in the garment manufacturing industry ? It doesn’t have to, if we as consumers are willing to pay more for a garment that costs more than a cup of coffee, is ethically made and employees are paid fairly and sustainably. if we as consumers ask questions, like the Fashion Revolution enables us to.
It is upto us to make that choice, and every choice we make has a ripple effect that impacts the world.
Cleansing, and committing to it, is the lifestyle change we bring about with every decision we make to buy less, know more. Now imagine each of us committing to this, even for a week. Like carrying your own reusable water bottle, or switching to long lasting fabrics for the long run. What a tremendous impact that would have!
The pandemic gave us the time to assess what is truly valuable. And I believe it is authenticity and time. We are witnessing a period where we, as a collective, are at a beautiful turning point.
‘Conscious’ and ‘consumption’ are probably the most used words since 2020, and with good reason. As brands continue to source ethically and create sustainably, we as consumers can commit to invest our time and money mindfully.
So to answer the question, if conscious consumption can save the planet, it can. However futile our individual action may seem in the grand scheme of things, it starts with each one of us. Individual action is what triggers exponential change.
Value and appreciate what you have, before time makes you appreciate what you had. This age old saying holds so much within it and could not be more relevant than the present time.
Let's buy pieces that we love and value, that have a story, a narrative, that can be passed on.
And most importantly, don’t cost us the earth.