Are sustainable products really sustainable?


As part of a global trend, consumers feel more committed to the planet, which in turn has an impact on the responsibility of brands to meet the needs of customers; empowered citizens who are aware of the impact of their habits and consumption in relation to the environment and sustainability.  The profile of the new consumers is characterized by being civic, with critical thinking, coherent with their thoughts and responsible for their actions, committed to the environment that surrounds them, and seeks collectivity as opposed to individualism.

Nowadays, society and young people try to take better care of the environment and the planet by consuming ecological products, either because of the concern we are living nowadays or because of fashion. It does not matter that the ecological products they consume are better than the usual products. I hope that people understand the problems that we have and make conscience in consuming this type of products.

Nowadays the environmental problems that are causing the factories that use materials such as plastic or any other product that pollutes, are a problem that really worries the society or at least a great part of it.

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Sustainable consumption

Are brands really sustainable? Fashion brands are increasingly moving towards sustainability.  Brands like Everlane and Allbirds are creating eco-friendly clothing and shoes, while large corporations like Zara and H&M have committed to cleaning up some of their polluting practices, though perhaps not as fast as some of us would like.

The concept of “fast fashion” refers to a phenomenon of mass production and consumption that is increasing at the same speed that trends are changing. … At the same time it is a consumption model in which the life time of each garment is really short.

Conscious: A conscious garment is one that has been produced with sustainability principles in mind. A conscious person is one who is aware of the world in which he/she lives and tries to lead a respectful lifestyle.

Downcycling: recycling technique that implies a loss of value in the resulting product. A good example is recycled paper, since the recycling process involves practices that are not very sustainable and, in addition, the resulting product never has the quality of the original.

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Sustainable development

The ethical/sustainable fashion market has not responded in the same way. Although the market is $67 million, this is still less than the $83 million women spend weekly on shoes.

In the study, they were asked which sustainability issues are key to purchasing (worker wages and operating conditions, raw materials, chemicals and CO2 emissions) to determine how they felt about each and, more importantly, whether they influence purchasing decisions.

In the UK, 50% of consumers said that fair wages and working conditions were important to them. In contrast, they mentioned that issues related to raw materials (35%), low chemical use (32%) and carbon emissions (31%) were not a priority. This contrasts with studies conducted with consumers in Asia, which show that for them environmental issues are more relevant and related to sustainability.

Sustainable production and consumption

The complexity of a sustainable product is not only reduced to the use of recycled materials or energy reduction. Sustainability affects both the natural and social environment and therefore requires a more holistic assessment.

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First and foremost, the product has to be viable and provide a benefit to the consumer and the production components. If one section of the production chain loses or does not receive this value then the producers will stop producing. The same will happen with consumers who, if they do not perceive this value, will stop consuming the product and it will disappear from the market.

If a product wants to be competitive, it must be in constant evolution. Not only because of technological and methodological improvements that make the processes vary for other more effective ones, but also because of market changes that make it necessary to adapt the product to the demands of society.