Conscious consumerism is all the rage at the moment which is absolutely great. But what is it? And why is it important to think about when starting up your own business?
Conscious consumerism is a growing activist movement in retail. The philosophy behind it is focusing on voting with your wallet. So buying responsibly by choosing providers that produce items ethically. That means choosing to part your money with small businesses that pay well, are environmentally aware, are mindful with their manufacturing processes and steer away from counterfeit goods, human trafficking and overproduction. There are many companies that currently do this. For example, Anita Roddick, the founder of the Body Shop, was one of the first to promote fair trade and ethical consumerism, and a wide variety coffee companies are also focusing on importing/exporting coffee under the fair trade brand. And just from walking around London, it’s easy to see that there are so many local cafes and stores selling organic and homemade products. It’s really amazing to notice how many people are being mindful about where to get their items.
So what can you do to ensure the business that you start is ethical?
Well, the first thing to do when starting up your business are these things:
1. Always find out where the products are made and how. This is especially important if you are having things shipped over from abroad in countries where the law may not consider human rights. (It is also a great way to market your items to customers as many like to know the origin of where they buy things).
2. Be transparent with your goals for your business with your customers. Always ask for constructive feedback so you can give more in future purchases.
3. Charge a little more for your products so you can pay people well.
4. Give to a charity with any extra earnings you have made above paying yourself. You could even to a “Plant a Tree” scheme with every purchase so you know that you are giving back to the world.
5. Every three months you could create conscious awareness around People, Profits and Planet, so you know you are giving to yourself, others and your environment
For more ideas or a discussion around this, why not send me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org.