In his 1972 essay ‘Famine, Affluence, and Morality’, moral philosopher Peter Singer argues that luxury is, in a nutshell, immoral. That while poverty and war exist, enjoying privilege, consumerism and comfort when you have the means to help, is an unjust way to live. He simplified this argument further in a 2015 interview, asking why go about your comfortable life and give nothing when others are starving or lacking shelter? “There is something fundamentally wrong with the way we’re living,” he said. “If you’d rather drive a Mercedes than a cheaper vehicle there are implications: you bear some responsibility for having spent money you could have used to save lives.”
As global consciousness rises — with an understanding time is of the essence and every choice has an impact — Singer’s statement is creeping to the forefront of our minds. Living in a digitally-led landscape, governed by clicks, likes and opinions, we’re collectively learning the value of our voices and, in turn, the power of the purse. Simply speaking, if a brand doesn’t resonate or fit in with our core values, the state of the global marketplace ensures there are other options out there. So we find them. This is conscious consumerism in action. The movement has been on the rise for some time as consumers are increasingly clued-in on their own impact, choices, and spend. Soon, it will hit brands harder, as the conscious consumer educates themselves on the global responsibility that comes with making the right decisions. The butterfly effects and weight certain choices bear can no longer be ignored. According to trend forecasting agency Future Laboratory, 94 per cent of consumers say they are more likely to be loyal to a brand that offers full transparency. Another study looking at global corporate social responsibility (CSR) found that nine out of 10 consumers now expect companies to do more than simply turn a profit. Eighty four percent of those consumers will seek out responsible products where possible, which is most true when it comes to food and groceries.
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