What is Sustainable Consumerism?

 Sustainable Consumerism with Lani Shades on the Beach

What is Sustainable Consumerism? You hear this word "sustainability" a lot these days. Sometimes in the phrase sustainable consumerism, sustainable consumption and sustainable fashion. We like to buy things and companies like to sell us things. In fact, the world economy as we know it depends on this never ending cycle of buying new stuff. Shiny new things! If you're cynical you might even think there's a conspiracy for things that we buy to wear out regularly in what's been called, planned obsolescence. Did we always have to buy so much stuff? Are companies just trying to keep the ball rolling? Is this ever going to stop before our landfills overflow? And what about all that plastic! So much of what we buy is made of cheap plastic but did we know before we invented that stuff that it would never go away? Like never! It's just accumulating and filling up the oceans and getting eaten by sea life that ultimately ends up in our food and our bodies. 

But what about all that cool new stuff! Sometimes you run out of stuff or your old stuff wears out or breaks. Or you just get tired of it and want something new. We get it, we're all part of the same culture. We also know that we're just individuals and our individual actions seem like drops of water in the ocean. Some companies are now saying that they care and some even exploit the issue and try to greenwash us. What can we do? Maybe nothing... Or maybe something.

Everything starts with an idea. Here's an idea: Quality over quantity. Now this might seem crazy but what if you didn't have a lot of cheap things but instead just had fewer nicer things? Things that last and you took good care of them because you had fewer things to keep track of. What if when things broke they were able to be fixed? What if things maybe cost a little more because they were made better and not meant to be replaced so quickly? Fast fashion by its nature is designed to wear out fast but timeless quality never goes out of style.  

We love companies like Patagonia that encourage you to buy less of their new stuff by offering to trade in or repair their products. This is a bold stance for a company to take obviously because wouldn't they make more money if you bought their new stuff? Patagonia embodies the principle of the Triple Bottom Line of People, Planet and Profit. More and more companies like Patagonia are realizing that destroying the planet and making people sick is bad for business in the long run. After all, what good are profits if there's no beautiful planet Earth to enjoy them on? 

Sustainable consumerism means companies have choices in how they make their product and can consider ways that have more positive impacts. At the very least companies can offset their negative impacts through partnerships with other organizations making a difference. There's often a choice between a cheaper source that is more harmful to the planet or exploits labor and a more ethical choice that might be more expensive. In the race to the bottom it's tempting for companies to make the easy choice to stay competitive when customers might not know otherwise or care. It's up to customers to vote with their wallets. 

Ohe Aina Sustainable Bamboo sunglasses
Lani Shades main collection of sunglasses are made of bamboo. We chose bamboo because not only is it lightweight and strong but it is also sustainable, growing fast and plentiful all around the world. Eco-friendly bamboo also floats and if they fall overboard and float away that's a little less plastic in the ocean and beaches that we love.

Lani Shades takes pride in making quality products. We hope that you only have to buy one pair of our wood sunglasses and that you like them so much you buy them for your friends and family. But if your Lani Shades last a long time and don't have to be replaced, that's awesome! Like anything, our products can break through normal wear but we'll gladly try to fix it for you if you want to send it back. Unlike a cheap piece of plastic, a little bit of epoxy to fix a cracked piece of wood just gives it more character. Quality and character never go out of style.   

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

You may also like

View all
Example blog post
Example blog post
Example blog post