How conscious consumerism is shaping a sustainable future

GenZ and modern millennials have spurned a revolution in the consumer market. Going beyond the brand names and marketing claims, these new-age consumers now dive deep into reading labels and considering the environmental and social impact of their purchases, giving rise to conscious consumerism

11 Sep 2023 | By Abhay Avadhani

A variety of factors affect how consumers make a purchase. The most common among them is how environmentally friendly the package or the product is, and the size of the product

Conscious consumers today want to not just know if the raw materials were sourced sustainably. Their concern goes beyond. They want to know if the workers producing this material worked in healthy conditions and were paid fair wages; the carbon impact of sourcing them from the said location; and how much renewable and nonrenewable resources were consumed in the process. This makes room for more brands to enter the market, catering to varying concerns of the ecosystem. That is why in cluttered markets like beauty and personal care, there’s room for new brands to enter and take up market share.

“Sustainable buying has become a core value of new-age consumers’ buying behaviour. With the growing awareness around understanding product sourcing and its aftermath, consumers are now doing their research and reading labels to ensure their actions have minimal if not zero negative impact on the environment,” says Yash Jaipuria, chief executive, Ginni Filaments. He adds, “Being an industry leader, we take it as our responsibility to offer our customers ample options that do not just fit their requirements but are also aligned with their values. As a result, we are developing innovative products made from recycled materials while continuously improving carbon footprint and waste generation.”

The rising global trend is encouraging brands to adopt and integrate sustainability into their core value system and business operations. Companies that fail to embrace sustainability risk losing market share and credibility. Hence, fair trade initiatives, corporate social responsibility initiatives, and ethical company practices have now become standard practice. The changing dynamics in the ecosystem have led to reduced carbon footprints, waste reduction, conservation of biodiversity and vital resources, improved air quality, and more.

Vandana Tandan, head of markets India and Bangladesh, SIG Combibloc comments, “Growing consumer awareness around sustainability has encouraged more and more companies to come up with innovative, reliable and sustainable packaging solutions. At SIG, we have also evolved our offerings in ways to ensure it becomes even more environmentally friendly and hence, the first choice of our consumers.”

She adds, “We are implementing energy-efficient manufacturing processes with an aim to minimise the industry's carbon footprint. Our cartons offer a smaller carbon footprint as compared to other alternative packaging. As an industry leader, we are making efforts to minimise food waste through portion control and optimised package sizes.”

Changing consumption habits towards sustainability means a major positive change in how people see their role as consumers. Conscious consumption can lead companies to more sustainable practices, which ultimately benefit the environment and society. As this trend continues, it has the potential to create a greener and fairer future for generations to come. However, it is important for consumers and businesses alike to maintain the commitment to sustainability thus, making it a cornerstone of our global economy.