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Scoops and Hoops
May 13, 2024

The Ethics of Consumerism: Buying Less & Buying Better
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How Ethical is Consumerism?

When you buy a consumer good do you think about the brand’s environmental impact? As of recently I have become more aware about my impact on the environment, and you might be having similar thoughts. Buying less and buying better are both extremely important concepts, and even if you’re not interested in buying from more eco-conscious brands, I urge you to buy less. Dr Sonali Diddi, a professor of Environmental Sustainability at Colorado State, wrote in an article for the Royal Geographical Society that “Research has shown that buying less certainly helps with reducing demand of unwanted clothing items. In the clothing industry the biggest impact after manufacturing is the consumer use phase. Buying less, and high-quality clothing reduces the environmental impact dramatically.”

When becoming more environmentally conscious the difficult question becomes, “What brands should I be supporting?” Well, I just made it a whole lot easier! Down below is a list of my favorite eco-conscious brands and how they reduce their impact on the environment. If you’re interested in lowering your carbon footprint, purchasing from these brands is just a small step to get you going.

Longchamp (Tote Bags)

Since 2019, the popular French brand has been taking on new initiatives to “reduce its impact on the environment.” The brand, known for their popular tote The Pliage, created a new version as of recently. The Pliage Green is a play on their most popular nylon tote but instead made with recycled canvas. As stated on the website, “Le Pliage Green is an invitation to live harmoniously with the environment thanks to its recycled nylon fabric.” The brand also packages their goods using low-waste materials, such as recycled paper or cardboard, to minimize packaging waste. Although the bag is primarily used as a work-tote, it could make a great school bag as well! Recently the iconic Marc Jacobs tote has starting trending in the high schools, while The Pliage Green is on its way to being its much more sustainable counterpart.

AGood Company (Water Bottles)

This Sweden based brand, AGood Company, creates simple bottles made from recycled steel. For every bottle sold, the brand donates 500ml of water to the Charity: Water, a non-profit organization that brings clean, safe water to people in need all across the globe. Their most popular reusable bottle, the Thermal Bottle, is only $35 and was created to keep liquids warm for 20 hours or cold for 48 hours. The brand advertises the product saying that it is “the zenith of durability” and that it is “Lightweight and ultra-durable” making it the perfect on-the-go water bottle. If you find that your bottle is ever damaged or destroyed you can simply place the steel bottle in the recycling bin.

Eiken Shop (Backpacks)

Eiken Shop creates stylish unisex bags and backpacks out of 100% recycled materials. Their backpacks are waterproof, GRS certified, and large enough to fit a 13 inch laptop or large ipad. These bags are the perfect sustainable school bag or work bag, a fan-favorite being the Mini Handy Vandra backpack. It is advertised as undoubtedly spacious,“With multiple interior and exterior compartments, a padded 13.6″ laptop sleeve and a smart design, you’ll never have to worry about leaving your necessities behind.” Eiken Shop products can be used anywhere from camping and hiking backpacks to everydayschool bags. So, when your old backpack breaks down, instead of buying an unsustainable bag that will only get you a few years, get an Eiken bag instead.

Cuyana (Clothing and Leather Goods)

Cuyana is a leather-goods company based out of San Francisco that strives to maintain their motto, “Fewer, better. Everyday.” Cuyana creates simple clothing items and leather pieces to last a lifetime. Cuyana states on their website that 100% of their suppliers are committed to an ethical conduct that includes the use of sustainable materials and a conduct that forces suppliers to follow fair labor laws (See Cuyana’s Our Suppliers page for more details). Despite the fact that Cuyana falls under the “affordable luxury” category, their goods are completely worth the investment! Cuyana’s everyday pieces are a must have for a simple, timeless, and sustainable wardrobe.

Athleta (Athletic Wear)

Athleta is an athletic wear company that has been working to empower women through easy-to-move clothing since 1998. They are a certified B Corp organization and are working to create fabrics using sustainable materials such as wood chips, wood pulps, and recycled scraps to help reuse materials. Athleta makes wonderful clothing for both women and young girls, and is a personal favorite of mine. This athletic wear company has created many clothing items that look similar to Lululemon pieces, but unlike Lulu, Athleta’s pieces are much more eco-friendly and environmentally sustainable. If you are a Lululemon lover this is definitely a company that you should look into!

Quince (Clothing)

Quince’s motto is, “We believe quality products can elevate your life.” Personally, I love Quince and own many of their products and closet staples. As a brand, Quince explains how they use sustainable materials and factories stating, “We partner with factories who have a commitment to responsible production. This means paying workers fairly and doing their best to produce in a way that reduces damage to the environment.” Every Quince piece that I have is wonderful quality and created with comfortable fabrics and materials. My favorite pieces from Quince are their cashmere sweaters and pieces from their washable silk collection. For such good quality the prices are a steal!

Moral of the Story: Bigger Isn’t Always Better

I know that reducing your impact on the Earth is hard, but wearing more eco-conscious clothing and accessories is a great way to begin going green! So, the next time you go to click buy on that fast fashion top, think about how much your purchase will affect the environment around you. It isn’t just about buying from brands that support the environment, it’s also about ceasing to purchase from brands that harm the environment as well. Finally, always remember that you have an impact on the world around you and that you can be the change.


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About the Contributor
Brooke Hillis ‘26
Brooke Hillis ‘26, Assistant Managing Editor
Brooke Hillis is the assistant managing editor for the Raider Review and a member of the class of 2026. She lives in North Andover, Massachusetts. In her free time Brooke plays tennis, reads, and roller skates. Her favorite book genres are psychological thriller and western canon. Brooke writes primarily for the science column and is looking forward to seeing future writing pieces from the Raider Review!

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