Sounds like a paradox doesn't it. A day to celebrate consumerism at its peak intensity... but make it "sustainable". This holiday season, my algorithm on Instagram has been bombarding me with ads for all sorts of products: clothing, shoes, accessories, etc. with tags related to sustainability. A lot of these companies have wide sustainable goals on their website, but when I searched them further, I didn't see actual proof that their business is sustainable whatsoever.
I asked myself whether there were actually any credentials or policies which standardize and measure transparency in brands? I found the Sustainable Apparel Coalition. They're working on congregating different aspects within the concept of sustainability, like a company's operations and materials.
"You can't manage a problem you aren't measuring" This quote is from a video on their website explaining the Higgs Index and corresponding tool: a universal standard for intersectional sustainability of a product. This company inspired me to visualize an economy where consumers are choosing products according to their values.
But anyways, going back to the holiday, I understand how small businesses want high influxes of sales during the holidays, but overconsumption of even "sustainable" goods continues the cycle of overconsumption and exploitation. Even if it is much better to buy from an ethical company than the conventional option, reinforcing our current extractive habits will not help with the just transition. Don't get me wrong, I did indulge in buying some sustainable products that are usually unaffordable, but I'm not so sure these sales should occur on black friday.
At the end of the day, it's great to see how we're becoming better equipped with more product options and data to make smart consumer choices. We're experiencing transitional years where a circular economy is getting momentum ideologically but not yet culturally.