Updated: Mar 4, 2020
by Mitch Borger
In an age where consumerism is running rampant, society is continually searching for the cheapest and most convenient products possible. Unfortunately, cheap products have a very negative impact on the environment and the people in and around the manufacturing process. As ecosystems deteriorate, individuals and businesses need to be more proactive with their consumption patterns and need to begin understanding the impact of the products that they are purchasing.
Due to ambiguity surrounding the definition of sustainability, it’s vital that we have a running definition of the concept. There are many approaches that orbit the idea of sustainability, each claiming higher importance than any other, further complicating how as an industry - or society - we move forward to more sustainable practices. We’d recommend thinking of these four main aspects of the sustainability of your products before you buy.
Less is more - Sustainable products reduce over-consumption by considering the durability and longevity of the product. An important way to minimize the environmental impacts of our consumption patterns is to simply purchase less and only purchase items that will last well into the future. That’s why at Purnaa we make our products to the highest standard possible so that it can be used for a long time.
Importance of Sourcing - One aspect that makes a product sustainable is the use of materials that minimize negative impacts on the environment. In a previous post, we have identified the incremental impact of choosing organic cotton over non-organic. By knowing the impact of certain fabrics on the environment, as manufacturers, we have tremendous power to make sustainable fabrics and environmental practices mainstream.
Recycling Material Waste - In nearly all manufacturing processes, there will be some form of material waste. At Purnaa, instead of disposing of unused fabric, we give it to local mattress manufacturers who in turn use it as filling. Additionally, we partner with Doko, Nepal's only recycler to process our office waste.
The Human Side of Sustainability - Often, sustainability and the immediate welfare of people are linked. By virtue of using fewer pesticides in growing cotton means workers and the surrounding communities have decreased chemical exposure. Make sure your manufacturer or brand insists on the ethical treatment of people in their supply chain.
Next time you are sourcing products for your business or simply out shopping, remember you have the ability to support the sustainable alternatives in the industry. For starters, look for accreditations or certifications that certify that manufacturers adhere to ethical methods of production such as:
To learn more about certifications, check out our blog post
In Purnaa, the protection of people and the planet is at the forefront of our minds. We use our influence with brands and suppliers to encourage more sustainable practices to create a safe, cleaner Nepal and Earth.
Check out how we are taking strides to be more sustainable and how you can too: