Once upon a time there was an earth full of animals, plants, human and fresh air. This can be a potential story in future if we don’t stop being cruel to the environment. Well, if you have the same view of the future, you might be an ethical consumer. Being an ethical consumer can be divided into different categories such as becoming a vegan, buying products that are not produced by hurting the animals or the environment.
Recently, a video was getting viral on social media called “save Ralph”. The stop motion picturing the life of a rabbit that works in a cosmetic lab, that probably you had watched too. Well, that is a true example of cruelty in the world that humans are responsible for. If we as consumers, start consuming products made ethically, and producers prove what they make is cruel free, for sure, we will have a better feeling of buying their products. So, let’s see truly how saving Ralphs can help both sides, the business and the environment.
Don’t kill the world for the business growth, rather build and grow your business while you care about the world truly.
This article covers the following matters
- What does ethical consumerism mean?
- Benefits of ethical consumerism
- Trends in ethical producing
- What is the ethical consumer in business?
- How to sustain your business through ethical consumerism?
What does ethical consumerism mean?
Simple and directly we want to give a clear meaning of ethical consumerism. All around the world, there are some products offered in the market which were produced during a cruel action. This cruel action can harm the animals, plants, air and generally the environment. Like when clothes with natural furs, fibers with animal skin, cosmetic tested on animals (same as Ralph), producing damaging gases for the plants and environments, etc.
The point is, cruelty is not only shortened in the animals and plants but also humans are involved. There are millions of clothing brands that cruelly affect the lives of weaker nations. Sounds painful, right?
In contrast, there are many companies which spend more to have the same quality product with less or no harm to the earth. This spending will result in a higher price for offering in the market. The consumers are called ethical and the way the product is produced is ethical consumerism.
Using less plastic bags, replacing the renewable and eco-friendly bags in the store, recycling the dumps, becoming vegan, etc. are the samples of other ethical consumerism.
Benefits of ethical consumerism
There are many benefits on this issue and it is not only related to the environment only. In fact, there are other aspects of being an ethical consumerism fan rather than saving the world. Let’s review some of them below:
Innovation runs to your business
Worrying about both the environment and the business makes you bring more and more innovative ideas to your business to impact consumers more. Sometimes you may think, if everyone is trying to omit plastic bags, what can I bring to be a unique ethical consumerism part?
Grow your brand ethically
You can simply be known by the customers for your environmental support and effort. Besides, customers are more likely to pay more on sustainable products. More earning equals more chances for you to grow your brand through the ethical ways. Who doesn’t want that?
Save the world
Small steps make a big change. Once you care about the earth, others will do as well and these small steps turn to a worldwide trend so that you will impact the whole world.
Love comes to all creatures
When all people stop cruelty to other creatures and even humans, love will be the replacement and everyone will live in a lovely environment.
Trends in ethical producing
So, we are here to tell you what are some trends in ethical producing and what to bring to your business to be considered as an ethical producer. Bringing these methods to your store is equal to bringing more ethical consumers. Here are the trends:
Plastic bags and containers are the mostly used method to offer products. Similarly, it is the most attention attracter (specially by the environmentalists) item. So, when you replace it in your business, surely lots of attention is going to be attracted to you as many products prove this issue. From the herbal disposable containers which are easy to recycle, to the products made of natural textures.
There are also ways to replace the plastic bags with other carrying tools. Such as offering a special basket to every new customer to use whenever they go shopping (this will kind of convince them to return to your store again), using fiber bags, suggesting they bring back the plastic bags to receive some free products, etc.
Each day, hundreds of people turn to being vegan for the rest of their life. Of course some people do it as they have a hidden phobia, but most of them try to save more animals by not eating them. This means you can bring special veganism food and beverages to your café, restaurant, and takeaway business.
In supermarkets, it is a good idea to place a special display for vegan people, set particular offers, etc. to catch the vegans attention as well. If you want a more successful idea in this plan, learn about all types of veganism too.
Chain stores with ethical goods
If you are a company, producing ethical goods, why not offer them in the market by yourself though specific chain stores? Little by little your eco-friendly stores would be noticed, same as thousands of them around the world, and there would be ethical consumers only for you.
There is also another idea in this issue. Each day, many chain stores offer evidence to prove they are slave-free markets and all the work is done by true workers. So, you can let them sell your ethical goods exclusively.
Ethical delivery services
Amazon and Uber are hardly trying to omit all the vehicles (delivery and taxis) with harmful gas production by 2040 and both were successful up to now. Plans like Amazon emission cut down and Uber clean air, are samples of their hard work. For sure, in the coming future, lots of other businesses will improve their goals in this way and we hope that future will be as soon as possible.
So if you are having a delivery service in your business, use the ethical ways and proudly announce it.
What is the ethical consumer in business?
All around the world, there are people who care about the issues of the environment, whether they are environmentalists or normal people. The point is, all of them are more likely to pay a bit more to receive an ethically constant product. Currently, statistics claim that the rate of ethical consumers is growing rapidly and it is going to turn all the people into ethical consumers by the coming years.
In fact, we should mention that this action may take a few more years to be as popular as it is needed, but we, the consumers in the world, are the ones who can save the world. There is not going to be a hero protecting us from environmental issues but us.
So, after all these things, why not both save the environment and your business at the same time? Isn’t it rational to gain more ethical consumers to impact them positively? Sure it is. Therefore, an ethical consumer in the business is the person who prefers to purchase a product, produced in an ethical process, even with a higher price.
How to sustain your business through ethical consumerism?
Well, this is the most important part of this article. How to simply invest in the ethical consumerism market and profit both the business and the environment. The ways mentioned below are going to turn you to a truly ethical consumerism fan. By the way, EPOS systems are going to assist you in this way.
Eliminate the paper receipts
The less paper using means the more trees out there, and the more trees mean the fresher air and oxygen for the earth. If you have a more detailed search on the paper receipts, you will find some harmful chemicals including BPA and BPS (Bisphenol A and Bisphenol S).
BPA is found in:
- Thermal printed receipts
- Sport bottles
- Canned foods
- Plastic bags (Polycarbonate)
- Children toys (plastic ones)
- Garden hoses
And they can harm you in:
- Hormone disruption
- Children behavior
But only thermal printed receipts have both the chemical cousins of BPA and BPS. Pathetic, right? As long as you worry about yourself, you can handle the harms too. What do you, as the business owner, do instead? Simply:
- Offer them not to receive a receipt
- Use and alternative way of printing receipts (although it is going to be more expensive and less quick)
- Use digital receipts send to their email, phone, or a messaging app
- If they need a quick check, let them see the receipt through customer displays
And finally, encourage them in avoiding a receipt after each shopping.
One of the key successes in every business is to offer special packaging. If you have a physical store, customers are the one to choose either plastic packing or alternatives. But when it comes to e-commerce, do your best to only have an ethical packing. There are hundreds of ideas to pack the product eco-friendly and make your consumers love it. Using paper bags, handwritten receipts, etc. are some of the ideas.
Click and collect instead of delivery
When people order online, a lot of energy is used to deliver the order. You can reduce this energy consumption by adding a click and collect option on your website. So that people can order, pay and pick their product from a local branch. In this way, there would be no harmful gas produced by delivery service.
You can simply encourage the customers to choose this option by claiming there is no delivery pay, more environmental action and other things.
Recycle gift cards
Gift cards are one of the other plastic things that have millions of users all around the world. There are many gift card recycling centers that can only take the barcode and renew the card again. But how to collect gift cards? Easily offer your customers a discount on each gift card with zero balance (for example 5% for each card). This way they collect the cards and bring it back to you so you can also help the ethical consumerism.
Track the inventory carefully
It is not always reducing or omitting something from the business but also, sometimes it is good to do an action continuously. One of these actions is to track the inventory carefully to figure out what you exactly need to bring and what not to. Probably weekly or even daily checks of the inventory is a good idea. In this way, you will avoid keeping the products with expiry dates for a long time.
The inventory track can be simply done through a comprehensive epos system automatically. Therefore, you won’t need to worry about frequent checking as there is always a tracker to inform you.
Optimize purchase order (PO)
Once you check the inventory balance, it is time to do a purchase order. But there is one more step to consider. Previously, when you stuffed the inventory, what product sold out easier and sooner? What product was hard to sell and what product is still there?
Answers to these three questions will tell you how many you exactly need to order. This is a benefit for both the environment and the business. Note another issue as well and that’s the delivery time.
When you do a purchase order, it can take from 1 week to 1 month to receive the order. Make sure the ordering time is ranged in a limit that will send the order to you before you completely run out of a product.
For example, if you are a retail clothes store that sells 10 T-shirts per day, having 300 T-shirts will be enough for a month. If it takes one week to receive the T-shirt from the supplier company, order it in the last week of every month.
Ethical consumerism was always a critical issue for all those who care about the place they live. Not only animals, but also humans, air and even plants are in danger of cruelty products all around the world. And now, it is the time to think about it deeper.
Businesses in every region are truly responsible for this issue to encourage people into more ethical consumerism while they offer more innovative plans to them. By these actions, you as a business owner can outstand your brand and become a special trade having an impressive rule in saving the earth. We hope that reading this article would be helpful to all the people around the world. Please, be an ethical consumer, an ethical producer.