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  • Writer's pictureJohn Pabon

Tips to make this the most sustainable shopping season ever


In their most recent sustainability tracker, Bain & Co found 78 percent of Australian consumers were willing to pay a premium for sustainable products, while a full 90 percent want more sustainable options at the shops. Across Asia-Pacific, 90 percent of consumers say they want brands to stand for something more than just making money.


But with tough financial times ahead, and budgets stretched thin, how can people who want to purchase responsibly do so without breaking the bank?


Shopping sustainably isn’t as expensive, difficult, or fringe as it used to be. Today, there are plenty of options that will not only do right by the planet, but by your wallet as well.


With Singles Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, and Boxing Day upon us again, I’ve come up with 5 tips to help consumers sort through all the slick marketing to make this the most sustainable shopping season ever.


1. Don’t take the psychological bait. Shopping gives us a high we can’t get enough of. The pleasure you get from buying something isn’t just in the product itself but also in the bargain that might come with it or even the simple act of window shopping. Marketers know this, manipulating shoppers to buy, buy, buy. But armed with this awareness, consumers can start fighting back.


2. Think long-term investment. Comedian Ophira Eisenberg jokes some relationships are great while others are like that really cute top from H&M. It might look amazing now, but you just know it’s going to fall apart in six months. Think of shopping this season as an investment. Spend a little more now, for something that’s going to last a very long time, instead of getting a whole lot of stuff that won’t last past March.


3. Watch out for greenwashing. It seems every company today is eco-friendly, going green, or doing something to save the planet. Most, though, are simply tapping into the consumer desire to spend ethically so they can make a quick buck. Especially look out for brands that bash you over the head with eco-language, green packaging, or grandiose claims.


4. Shop local. Shopping local means you’re not only helping build a thriving community where you live, but are also reducing the highly polluting transportation leg of the supply chain.


5. Find out who the good ones are. Look for brands you know have a good reputation, sustainability endorsements or certifications from third-parties, and clear marketing copy outlining their credentials. Be careful when you read too much jargon or inflated statements. And definitely remember that just because a product’s cheap doesn’t mean someone isn’t paying the price.

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