Sustainable businesses are often new and small-scale making them more susceptible to the sting of COVID-19. As the epidemic rages on and business functions are disrupted across the globe, there is fear that years of progress made by the sustainability industry will be lost. Here are a few things you can do to stop that from happening.
It’s pretty straight-forward. If we want the brands we love to endure during these difficult times, purchasing their products will considerably help them to do so.
The epidemic has changed what we consume and the way we consume drastically, but if there is anything you need, such as loungewear, skincare or masks, purchasing it from a sustainable brand can make a world of difference.
Sign the #PAYUP Petition
You can actively play a part in protecting suppliers and garment workers by signing the #PAYUP petition. It’s a campaign put in place by Change.org to push major fashion labels such as Gap, Primark, Mothercare, Kohl’s, URBN (Urban Outfitters, Free People, Anthropologie) to pay their suppliers.
Since the pandemic has struck, over $3 billion worth of orders has been paused or cancelled. This money accounts for the income of millions of garment workers who rely on small wages to feed their families.
According to Change.org, “many have already been sent home with no severance, savings, or access to healthcare”.
You can show your support for sustainable brands by investing in their businesses. Some sustainable brands like Riceco and Common Objective rely on investments from the public to build their businesses. You can find them on Kickstarter and Crowdfunder.
It allows founders to keep true to the core of their businesses; be it in terms of creativity, ethics or day-to-day management.
Be the watchdog
As consumers in the digital age, we have a lot of power.
It’s crucial that we celebrate the brands who are making the world a better place and criticise those who are thinking only for themselves.
Brands like LVMH are using their factories to manufacture hand sanitiser. On the other hand, I Saw It First has resorted to capitalising on COVID-19 by promising its first 1000 customers a free bottle of sanitiser.
Celebrating the brands who have a strong sense of social responsibility and community is essential as it helps build a world where brands are accountable for their actions (or lack thereof).
Buy Gift Cards
Gift cards are not the most personalised of gifts, but if some of your friends are sustainability lovers, your gift will probably mean a lot to them as you are helping sustainability stay alive during challenging times.
COVID-19 is sounding the alarm for businesses all over the world, but for small sustainable brands, the situation is particularly dire. Production is low, and consumers are not buying much.
A gift card allows you to support them without actually buying anything immediately. Make sure your gift card will last for at least a year and keep in mind that if that particular company shuts down permanently, you might not be able to get that money back.
It’s a great way of supporting a brand as long as you’re aware that it comes at a risk.
Sustainability is an industry that rose from public outcry, and it will only continue to flourish if we, as a collective, keep caring about it. Pushing for a better world during times of extreme adversity is tough, but it’s doable.