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What does ethical or responsible consumption mean?

What does "ethical consumption" or "responsible consumption" mean? We found out for you at ETIK Magazine, and we also share some tips for making more sustainable choices at the supermarket.

Market research in numerous sectors shows that consumers are becoming increasingly critical. We stand more sceptically in the supermarket gazing at bargain-priced detergents, wonder where the fruit comes from and have doubts about what the bank is doing with our savings. Do you catch yourself in one of the above scenarios? Good reason to be proud of it, because you are that critical, and who knows, ethical consumer who will inspire many companies to turn the corner. What you need to know about responsible or ethical consumption, we summarise here.

We increasingly wonder how products are made. Where they are made, by whom and whether the maker receives a fair wage. We look more critically at price tags and ask ourselves questions when we see a t-shirt that costs less than five euro. 'The twenty-five euro t-shirt must be better,' is a leap of faith we often make. This makes us feel safer and more secure, although it says little about the production process. Unfortunately, as consumers we often have to look for it ourselves and try to find out as much as possible whether producers are making choices that we want to support.

What we described above is called 'ethical awareness'. It means that, as a consumer, you stop and think about the choices you make yourself. That is the first step, because in most cases you are dependent on decisions made for you by someone else. Do you want to check whether a product has really been 'ethically produced'? Then you have to take various factors into account, such as choice of material, production method, working conditions, environmental pollution and, of course, transparency towards the consumer.

Repaid in appreciation

Producers know full well that their ethical investments are rewarded with sustainability labels, press attention and the trust of a group of sceptical consumers. When they are transparent and honest about their working methods, a large part is automatically paid back in market appreciation. A company or product that has no information about the origin of the product may have little to show for it. Because those who do produce responsibly, know that it is a plus for the consumer.

So, today you find yourself in situations where one brand after another is screaming for attention because they do take all these different factors into account. It is up to you, the consumer, to assess who makes the best choices and whether they are recognised by an official organisation. Anyone can put an image of an eco-label on their website, but that does not mean it is officially recognised. The more important ethical consumption becomes, the more parties see opportunities for cheating. Unfortunately, as well as a critical attitude, consumers must also adopt a cautious attitude.

So try to do your own research or buy from parties that have already made an ethical selection for you. Good news, because that is exactly our plan at ETIKL. Soon you will find here our selection of European brands that all contribute to an ethical economy. In the meantime, we'll be happy to keep you informed about how to choose for ethical consumption yourself, everywhere and at all times.

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