The last few years have been eye-opening in terms of our wastage as well as our consumption habits. Though this crisis has been rising on an upward spiral, the global pandemic forced us to rethink our choices and strategize ways in which we can reverse the damage and create a positive social impact through acts of conscious consumerism. Everything we buy or throw away has a health, environmental and social impact, something that we’ve overlooked in the past years.
However, with a rise in conscious consumption and minimalism, sustainable shopping could be our chance to support the protection of the planet.
Who is a conscious consumer?
It should be noted that conscious consumerism begins with shopping less and shopping only for what’s needed. Also known as ethical consumerism or conscientious consumerism, this type of shopping focuses on making a positive social, environmental or economic impact.
Seeking transparency from brands in terms of production and manufacturing processes can help you make informed decisions so much so that such consumerism can manifest in other aspects of your life as well. A socially and environmentally conscious shopper will first think about whether such a purchase is necessary at all. Then they will do their research and search for a planet-positive alternative that impacts the environment and society through its design, delivery and even discard.
Why do we need it?
Not a brand-new concept but conscious consumerism has risen with the prevalence of natural disasters and activism movements, with social media only amplifying the need for the cause. This cuts our need for mass consumption and production and curbs the effects of human waste and pollution. In response to this shift in consumer habits, several brands are offering transparency in their labour and sourcing data, to ensure that the consumer knows what they’re paying for. It is also a great starting point for an individual to start taking action and start thinking about how their individual behaviour impacts communities, society, and the planet.
This growing interest in ethically made products has given way to a rise in sustainable shopping platforms championing mindful consumption, production, and manufacturing and below, we’ve listed 6 such marketplaces that can become your one-stop digital shopping destinations.
1. Amala Earth
A curated shop for sustainability-lovers, this conscious living platform is deep-rooted in Indian traditions and culture. Collaborating with homegrown brands and independent labels like Miaminx, The Mindful Pantry, TANN TRIM, Namaq Cheeni, Vaaya, and more presents the opportunity to celebrate not only the local artisans of India that these brands wholeheartedly support, but also to create a planet-friendly community that drives change.
You can choose from their mindful eating, ethical beauty, joyful home, responsible fashion, conscious family, and feel-good others sections for your next sustainable purchase. They’ve also divided the website into sections that put transparency at the forefront. From products that come with biodegradable packaging to those that are sourced ethically and made fair trade, the tags make it easy for you to comprehend what you’re buying and from where.
You can shop from amala.earth
2. Brown Living
Calling themselves earth advocates, the team at Brown Living, founded by Chaitsi Ahuja and backed by Pragya Kapoor, aims to bring zero-waste and sustainable lifestyle alternatives to a conscious audience. India’s first plastic-free marketplace, their ethos is to only promote products that ensure a low carbon footprint and that are entirely plastic-free. With a focus on locally-made products that are evaluated on their environmental and social impact, the brand also contributes towards carbon offsetting by planting trees from the profits they earn.
You can shop from brownliving.in
Prioritizing a sustainable lifestyle, Suspire is a testament to the fact that conscious decisions inspire change for our collective future. Supporting a verified list of change-makers who are fighting to protect the environment, the brand fosters an array of labels like A Big Indian Story, Kensho Valley, The House of Ganges, Kastoor, and many more. Understanding that the fashion and beauty industry is one of the biggest culprits in putting our future planet at risk, Suspire’s proving that luxury doesn’t have to come at the cost of our planet.
You can shop from suspire.in
Started with the intention of bringing the work of Indian designers to a global audience, Ikkivi evolved into becoming a trusted worldwide destination for sustainable and ethically-made products, partnering with sartorial powerhouses like Kanelle, ITR by Khyati Pande, Mati, The Summer House, Sui, etc. With their sole focus being on the urgency of conscious consumerism, Ikkivi allows shoppers to browse for value – from breezy dresses by Khara Kapas and dainty dinnerware by The Burrow to gorgeous jewels from Dookdi, Studio Metallurgy, and many more brands.
Not only that, Ikkivi recently launched its size-inclusion pact, promising sizes from 2XS to 5XL at no additional cost. Working their way towards a 100% size-inclusive platform, each item in their apparel section can be customized according to your preference.
You can shop at ikkivi.com
A curated platform for elevated everyday essentials, Balkae caters to a community of sustainable fashion and clean beauty patrons. The brainchild of co-founders Radhika Sinha and Divya Bherwani, they created this marketplace to answer all your shopping needs in one place. You can easily narrow your search based on clothing type, gender, product type, categories, and more. You’ll be spoilt for choice with featured brands such as Zanzibar, Sustainability On Street, Playstix, Gale, and many more.
You can shop at balkae.com
Placing themselves as the ‘aanswr you have been looking for’ when it comes to everyday dressing, Aanswr’s co-founder Udit Toshniwal knew from the get-go that he wanted to add value to people’s everyday wardrobes by creating unique essentials that are time-tested investments. The platform’s repository of partnering brands includes Saphed, Azga, Kardo, Harbour 9, and many more, perfect for your next guilt-free shopping spell.
You can shop at aanswr.com
Now, you can take the guesswork out of sustainable fashion and simple shop from one of these platforms, knowing very well that your purchase won’t take away from the planet.