What does it mean to be a conscious consumer?
At DIOSA we talk a lot about conscious consumerism, and with that phrase usually comes the typical buzzwords, like “sustainability” “eco-friendly” and “ethical”. But most of these words are often umbrella terms with vague definitions that can apply to pretty much every sect of consumerism. So our team got to thinking: What exactly is a conscious consumer?
Turns out, that’s a hefty question, and one without one right answer. A good place to start would be asking ourselves what being “conscious” means. To some, it might simply represent our awareness of the many, many ethical issues surrounding various industries (well, pretty much every industry). To others, it means not only being aware of these issues, but making decisions and taking active measures so that your actions and awareness are on the same side – this is the definition that resonates most with DIOSA.
The term “conscious consumer” can also be alarming or intimidating for some. At a time where perfection seems to be the expectation, many people get discouraged that if not all decisions can be made consciously, then somehow they’re failing. But the truth is that if we all believed every decision needs to be an ethical one, then none of us would be succeeding. In our opinion, you do what you can, when you can.
Here are some suggestions:
Look for Brand Ethics
When shopping from a brand you like, look to see if they’ve been explicit about their values and ethics at their company. Do they align with yours? Are they going above and beyond to be diverse, inclusive and mindful – not because they need to be, but because they want to be? Admittedly, this one can be deceiving, as it's not always obvious if brands are following through with their stated values, but at least it's a starting point.
Look for B Corp Certification
This is a great way to see if a company is willing to put their money where their mouth is when it comes to living up to their values. B Corp is a very stringent designation that ensures companies are following through with social and environmental initiatives to minimize their harm and maximize their benefits. (Fun fact: DIOSA is currently applying for B Corp certification!).
Look for Transparency and Honesty
No company is perfect, so don’t trust one that pretends they are. If a brand can’t identify areas for improvement, it’s usually a sign that they’re not aware of where they’re lacking and how they can grow.
Choose a Specific Passion
It’s okay that you can’t tackle everything. It doesn’t mean that you can’t tackle anything. We all have certain issues that hit closer to home than others, so it’s alright if you choose what to focus on. Maybe it’s minimizing how much you buy, maybe it’s eco-friendly, maybe it’s locally made (surprisingly, locally made is not synonymous with environmentally-friendly). No brand is perfect, no buyer is perfect. Feel good about doing what you can, when you can.
Buy Less, or Secondhand
Buying organic, locally made, or slow-fashion is a privilege, and it’s important to acknowledge that. It's often more expensive than alternatives and isn't a sustainable solution for many people. Something that we can all do is shop less and buy secondhand where possible. It's cost effective, fun (who doesn't enjoy a good thrift hunt?) and minimizes your footprint. A win all around!
What We're Doing
We at DIOSA know that it's not enough to just talk about conscious consumerism. Here’s what we’re doing to walk-our-talk when it comes to being ethical...
This Pride Month, DIOSA wanted to show our support for the LGBTQ2S+ community in a meaningful way. That's why we've set up our website to take donations for Camp Rainbow, an overnight designated to create a safe and inviting space to support two spirited, trans, and gender diverse children. If you would like to help send a child to camp, you can donate at the bottom of this blog 👇.
This is our Facebook group, where we exchange our knowledge on ethical shopping, sustainability and share tips and tricks to grow our efforts. A supportive group for people anywhere along their conscious consumerism journey! Join the conversation here.
In an effort to provide in-stock accessories to our community while our Maya Collection was in production, we paired with some amazing companies and organizations to create custom items. Each product is aligned with DIOSA's values for minimizing our impact and maximizing the good we put into the world.
These products include handwoven accessories, eco-friendly charging ports and custom S'well bottles. You can browse them all here.
Inspired by what we learned about B Corporations, and recognizing the importance of honesty and transparency, we've published our 2020 Impact Report and this year's Impact Goals on our website. You can read all about our current initiatives including 1% for the Planet and 1% for Women, our intentions and where we know there's room to grow, here.