Those are the most obvious benefits of buying consciously, but there is another great benefit that might not be quite as obvious.
Companies notice purchasing trends.
It's no coincidence that huge brands like McDonald's are launching plant-based burgers, or that Sephora launched their Clean at Sephora branding to easily find clean beauty prodcuts. Adidas has a line of shoes made from recycled sea plastic, and is planning on launching a 100% recyclable shoe in 2021.
You can find examples all the time of big brands launching conscious products. This stuff matters.
The Reason Why the Products You Buy Will Change the World
The phrase "voting with your wallet" may be cliche, but it's true. Companies will go where the consumer interest is. Your favorite brand might not offer a line of plastic-free shampoos because they care about the environment, but because consumers demand it.
There are examples of eco-conscious entrepreneurs out there with great non-toxic and eco-friendly initiatives, but these are small players. The CEOs of the huge conglomerates like Proctor & Gamble, Unilever and Pepsi care about only one thing: profit.
These huge companies have shareholders, and those shareholders also care about only one thing: profit.
It's the grim truth about capitalism. But there's a way we can use this to our advantage.
If we, as consumers, show these huge companies that we care about buying conscious products and prefer them over less conscious products, one thing is true: they're going to change their product offerings, because that's where the money lies.
The reason behind brands changing their product offerings doesn't matter. The end result is what matters: the world moving toward sustainable, ethical, and conscious consumption.
It's 100% true that if we all decided that we don't want to buy products with single-use plastic anymore, companies would find an alternative.
It's also 100% true that if we all decided that we don't want to buy clothing made in sweatshops, companies would find an alternative.
Be Careful of Greenwashing Brands, Though
Not every company that puts out clean products has your best interest in mind.
It's important to be aware that some brands engage in greenwashing—the act of tricking consumers into thinking their products are eco-friendly or non-toxic when they aren't.
It's not always obvious which brands are greenwashing, so it's up to you to do your research into brands before purchasing.
Changing the Consumer Products Industry Is OUR Responsibility
Companies are never, ever going to do anything that will lower their profit in the short-term. They're never, out of the goodness of their hearts, going to put you, the citizens of the world, or our planet over profits. It's just not the way capitalism is wired.
But if big brands notice us buying better products, they're going to notice.
This is why it's our responsibility to change our buying habits.
If we show these industries that we want and demand better products, they're going to offer them to us. Not because they care, but because there's money to be made there.
That fact doesn't matter—we're going to make the world trend toward better, safer and more eco-friendly products. And that's the only way it's going to happen.