Businesses must keep up with growing demands for ethical behaviour and transparency in everything, taking a very proactive approach, not as an add-on, but as an integral part of the reason for being. The conscious business community is thriving, and it’s exciting to be part of it.
According to Mintel[i], 65% of all adults say they are currently trying to live more ethically than they were a year ago. Today’s consumers are ethically aware, driven by a media focus on ethical issues and part of a growing movement for more mindful and conscious living. Consumers are also aligning their spending with their values to be more ethically conscious, eco-friendly, and to be healthy and well.
Sarah Taylor is a certified natural skincare formulator and founder of Pamoja, an independent UK brand of clean and conscious skincare designed to help multitasking women achieve healthy glowing skin and a moment of calm and wellbeing. Sarah Taylor shares 5 ways you can be more conscious in business.
Many consumers seek easy and convenient ways to be more ethical. Being transparent about your purpose, what you stand for and what you stand against as well as supporting causes, campaigns and charities that align with your purpose will help consumers looking for businesses that share their values. The conscious movement has a strong presence online with enormous opportunities for engaging with consumers and like-minded business in supportive and inspiring online communities, e.g. #sustainableliving #consciousbeauty #zerowastelife #minimalistliving, #organicproducts etc.
Being authentic and transparent in the way you communicate your purpose, values and products or services will help you to connect with conscious consumers on an emotional and personal level. You can’t be everything to everyone, so telling the story of what inspires you, your journey and where you want to go in a passionate and compelling way will help you to build a specific, conscious business and loyal community around it, as well as help to differentiate your business from competitors.
Defining sustainability as a critical part of your business’s values will inform decisions you make at every level from sourcing, distribution, manufacturing processes, product design, and packaging. Have you considered the full life cycle of your products? How is the packaging sourced and disposed of? Savvy customers will ask and want you to know the answers. An approach could be to use the UN sustainability goals as a starting point for the discussion around how to do more, and better, with less. Demonstrating how your business can help consumers to be more sustainable, including the small steps they can take that will add up over time, and will be incredibly powerful.
Inclusion and diversity
Building an inclusive culture and customer service in your business will help diversity to thrive and your business to be more innovative and profitable. Avoid performative actions that may have the reverse effect. But rather like sustainability, take a strategic approach that begins with you as a leader researching and building an inclusive culture throughout your business from product development, recruitment, employee rights, the supply and distribution chain, marketing, customer service etc.
Health and wellbeing
The pandemic has sharpened our focus on health and wellbeing, both personally and from a community perspective, with health very much seen as the new wealth. With personal finances stretched more than ever, consumers are looking for affordable, ethical experiences and consumption that enhances their wellbeing. Demonstrating how your products and services contribute to better health and wellbeing, particularly mental wellbeing, is critical with nutrition, sleep, stress management, exercise etc. all seen as part of a holistic approach to having a happy, healthy lifestyle.