Sustainable consumption for the sake of the world

"What, a used car seat? You put your son in that old thing?"
A suspicious question, a skeptical look - and the young mother already feels guilty: After all, her son deserves a new car seat of his own. Not a used one in which another child was already sitting ... Even if the used one is in top condition.

New is better?

So why buy used items when they are also available new - seemingly flawless and exclusive? Social pressure suggests: New is better. No matter how long the car seat has been used. The child deserves something better. This way of thinking has an effect on demand and thus directly on supply. Thus, new products are produced again and again ... and disposed of - a throwaway economy is created.

But with products like a child seat, isn't the benefit, the function, in the foreground? - The child seat should secure your child in the car. That is important. What color it is? What brand is on the upholstery? - Matters less for the safety of your child. In a few years, it's too big for the seat and it goes in the trash.

The power of advertising

As buyers, we are often unaware of the consequences of our consumption and purchasing behavior. Advertising does the rest. I can take a look at my own nose: I, too, pay attention to the aesthetics of my clothing. I don't just walk around with a burlap bag - even though that would fulfill the cliché. It's okay to treat yourself to new things. Things that are beautiful and bring you joy. Still, it's important to be aware of your own needs and separate: What is the benefit and which product primarily serves your status, your image? Do you really need the latest iPhone with all the new features? Or are you primarily persuaded by the emotionally processed advertising campaign?

The influence of companies on consumer behavior

Demand determines supply. But supply also determines demand. Companies can also operate more sustainably and raise their customers' awareness: through transparent storytelling. What materials are used, how long does the product last? What added value does this product create? Some companies are already practicing this: The outdoor brand Jack Wolfskin, for example, specifically offers items made of recycled material - and thus also appeals to its customers, the nature fans.

But even regionally, there are pioneers who make consumers want to buy sustainably: Personally, I think the concept of the clothing store is great: There, you can borrow clothes with a monthly subscription and swap them as often as you like. Secondhand is not old and unfashionable. On the contrary! Apps like Kleiderkreisel have been proving that for several years now.

Circular economy instead of throwaway society

Companies should jump on this bandwagon and encourage their buyers to get involved with new ideas. Transparency and education are the most important things here. Personally, I find the feeling of wearing sustainably and fairly produced clothing much more pleasant. The workmanship is better, the lifespan longer. And - the most important thing: the feeling as a consumer is much better and longer lasting than when you quickly buy a cheap pair of jeans that are already headed for the trash after the first wash.

That's why I wish we would all raise our awareness and that companies would also do their part to change society's way of thinking: new is just not always better. And a used child seat does not make you a bad parent.

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