6 ways to be a more conscious consumer in 2024
Want to support businesses that align with your values? Here’s what we learned during Green Philly’s Decoding Conscious Choices.
When it comes to business practices, two local business leaders are making conscious decisions to support people and the planet while making a profit.
Dr. Kimberly McGlonn of Grant Blvd dove into the fashion world to not only choose sustainable materials but also choose ethical hiring practices. Grant BLVD trains previously incarcerated women in skills for sewing and the workforce. Melissa Torre reduces waste at Vellum Street Soap Company by using tallow, a typical discard from animal products, and recycled glass jars to hold her products.
What else did attendees learn during the insightful conversation on January 25th?
6 takeaways from Decoding Conscious Choices
- Conscious business owners consider their supply chains. McGlonn and Torre emphasized the importance of knowing where their ingredients or materials come from. For example, Torre visits farm suppliers to form and maintain strong relationships with suppliers so she can ensure ethical sourcing.
- It’s important to build a community around a business. McGlonn and Torre both agree that a strong community benefits everyone involved, fostering a supportive environment where people help each other.
- It’s challenging to be an ethical consumer. In a world where companies can use sustainability phrases as buzzwords, you can take a few steps as a consumer. For one, ask businesses about their practices (or an employee if the owner isn’t around.) Additionally, look for evidence of transparency, such as impact reports or certifications.
- Support local businesses over big box stores and online retailers: Spending money locally helps maintain a healthy tax base and contributes to community development.
- Although social media is important for business, it’s important to balance mental health. As a business owner or consumers, we frequently turn to online sources for information. As one attendee asked about the impact of social media on mental health, Torre shared digital or mental boundaries and mindful consumption.
- Lead with purpose as a business owner: McGlonn advised entrepreneurs to pursue inventive and passionate solutions to significant challenges and not to focus solely on profit. They encourage aligning business goals with personal values and community needs.