The History of Conscious Consumerism

Believe it or not Conscious Consumerism is not a new “fad”. We can trace its roots back to 1954 according to Grow Ensemble. “Economist James Buchanan stated that individual participation in the economy is a form of pure democracy” and thus the Conscious Consumer movement was born. As a result, this movement began as a means to protect workers. It also took into account the environments they worked within. In the late 19th and early 20th Century, the movement grew stronger as “unfair labor practices, ensure product safety, encourage healthy competition in the market and implement financial regulation” (Jennifer Nguyen).

Part 1

As we approached the 1970s, even more proof that regulation and safety measures needed to be prioritized. With that in mind, research done by the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that 12.6 million people die from environmental health risks every year. Evolving the movement further into a dire situation that impacted the safety of workers and their lives. Not surprisingly, the research on Climate Change and Global Warming became popular in the late 90s and early 2000s. This perpetuated the Conscious Consumer movement ten fold. Now, it wasn’t just about people, but the world…

Part 2

It has been interesting to see the world’s perspective on this movement evolve. The intersectionality between climate change, women’s rights, race relations, and democracy have all played a role in shaping Conscious Consumerism. This Pandemic has also shaped this movement more recently, evolving the way that businesses and consumers sell and buy products & services. We are shopping online more, and also shifting our values to the safety measure being taken to keep products, people, and the workplace environment safe from COVID-19 – something most of us never thought we would see in our lifetime…The more we learn about consumerism, the more we evolve our consumer habits. When you shop your values, you are contributing to a historical movement to better our world.

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Kristen Gmerek

Kristen is a writer, creator, and healing human who falls in love with stories each day. She is currently the Conscious Marketing and Communications Director for Mindful Market.

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