When we buy something, our thoughts and decisions tend to be influenced by what we can see in front of us, not what we can’t see. But does this lull us into a false sense of security by making us forget what’s gone on behind the scenes? And what does this mean for making the choice to live more consciously in our homes?
- We see that last mile a product has travelled by electric bike, but what about the other miles it’s travelled from the point of production, or the journey its components took to reach the manufacturer?
- When that new appliance arrives and the responsible retailer offers to take the old one away for recycling, is that really what happens?
- And there’s the ‘invisible waste’, too: that smartphone in its small package may weigh less than 200g, but what you don’t see is the 86kg of waste produced during its manufacture.
The truth is that there’s no silver bullet, so the onus is on us as consumers to think beyond what we see and find out what we need to know to make more conscious choices. Of course, it’s up to manufacturers and brands whether they share information about a product’s journey, and they’re not obliged to. So what can you do to make sure you’re taking the whole picture into account? Here’s what we’re doing:
1. Seek out transparency
More and more companies today are happy to bare their souls, whether to be open about component parts or to let you know which factory the product was made in. Seek out these companies so that you get a more complete picture.
2. Share and talk
If you’ve taken the time to read that little bit extra about a company you believe is doing things the right way, share your knowledge to shortcut things for a friend.
3. Pause before you purchase
Don’t just mindlessly buy - think about the purchase before you do. Take a pause to give yourself the time to consider the wider implications of what it’s taken to bring that product to the shelf in front of you.
Kate & Louise
Co-founders now, sit down
As with other brands, there’s plenty you don’t see when you look at our products, but it’s not stuff we want to hide – quite the opposite - it’s stuff we want to shout about! That’s why we’ve been working hard to fit all our products and their packaging with NFC tags. Don’t worry, these aren’t live tracking: they’re there to provide total transparency over the product’s journey and lifecycle, so you’ll always have the full story about anything you buy from us. It’s also a way for us to measure the circularity goals we’ve set ourselves. Find our more.