I remember the days where I would simply walk into a store and buy a product based on three things: it was on sale, it smelled good, and it had funky packaging.
Now that I have woken up to the fact that my body and the planet deserves better than this, those criteria are far from the way that I shop.
I shop local, look out for sustainable packaging, support socially and environmentally responsible businesses, and seek transparency from all companies I purchase from. This may sound like a lot of work to investigate these aspects of every product you need, but HealthPost’s Mindful Brands makes shopping by my values super easy. When I first jumped onto it, I was stoked to see so many of my staple brands there.
We’re all different when it comes to shopping. We have unique value sets, budgets, dietary requirements, and priorities, but my go-to list of what I look for when shopping, paired with HealthPost’s Mindful Brands, are helpful tools for everyone.
First and foremost, I look for Aotearoa New Zealand brands.
Why choose local?
Shopping locally reduces the footprint of the product dramatically. Purchasing products from overseas requires more fuel and usually more packaging to transport the item for thousands of kilometres to your home. Most products we buy contain ingredients that come from overseas! Therefore, shopping locally doesn’t solely support our lovely local economy, but cuts down the product carbon footprint in a big way too. Shopping locally also connects me to the maker so I can ask questions, maybe even visit the store or factory, and wait less time for my product to arrive!
Once I’ve found an epic local product, made in Aotearoa New Zealand, I consider how this aligns to my other ethical values. That’s where HealthPost’s Mindful Brands takes out the guesswork, so I can make ethical choices that are easy too.
1. Local brands that opt for planet friendly Packaging
When purchasing an Aotearoa owned beauty, skincare, food, or eco living product, I am aware that I’m not just purchasing the product that I need; I am also purchasing the packaging around it. This means it is my responsibility to look out for products packaged in home compostable packaging (I rip up my Ethique beauty bar boxes and pop them in my compost), reusable bottles (I return my Wild Dispensary herbal tonic glass bottles to them to reuse), minimal packaging, or packaging that is easily recycled in my region.
2. Local brands that are Environmentally Sustainable
I am excited to see HealthPost’s Mindful Brands include many B Corporations! Holding a B Corp certification, like my favourite Chia Sisters juices and CaliWoods sustainable lifestyle products do, means all business decisions are made with the planet and people in mind. It’s a well recognised certification to look out for alongside carbon-neutral companies and businesses who strive to consistently reduce their footprint.
3. Local brands that are Socially Responsible
I believe all businesses have the responsibility to use their influence to benefit the communities and environment around them. That’s why when I am shopping locally I will investigate if the brand has direct relationships with their farmers (like Yum Granola who hold friendships with many of the growers of their granola ingredients). I’ll also look at the diversity and inclusivity of their brand messaging.
To me, social responsibility also represents how a company gives back. I am more likely to shop from local brands who donate to charities, like Aotearoad (where my favourite lip balms are from) who donate to Women’s Refuge, and ecostore who volunteer their time each year to Auckland City Mission.
4. Local brands that are Transparent
Last, but definitely not least, I don’t look for perfection; I look for transparency. If a company is willing to disclose where their ingredients come from, I’m there. If a company is open about their imperfections and goals they are still striving towards, I’m all for it! I have yet to meet an organisation who are the ‘ideal’ sustainable company. Just like all individuals, all companies have at least one thing to work on.
As we learn more about our impact on the earth, research changes and best sustainable practice does too. So, a transparent company shows adaptability and awareness that they can always be doing something a little better. I admire local companies like Kiwiherb who are excellent at disclosing the contents of their New Zealand made products and local supply chains and continue to do better.
There is no rule book to sustainable shopping and the way I shop won’t suit everyone. But aiming to shop local while considering the packaging, environmental impact, social responsibility, and transparency of the company are great ways to start.
While we all lead full lives with priorities that may restrict us from looking so deeply into a company, I am grateful we can save time and trust HealthPost’s Mindful Brands. Use Mindful Brands to shop to your unique values and find incredible locally made products to incorporate into your everyday life.