Today, we are asking ourselves a new question:
What is the true cost of doing business with a company that is only interested in maximizing profits?
This new conscious consumer is influenced by several factors:
1) Social Consciousness
As consumers, we are growing in awareness of human rights abuses in 3rd world "manufacturing" countries, and we are questioning the ethics of supporting these governments with our purchases.
2) Economic Consciousness
Recent economic shifts have increased our interest in purchasing higher quality, longer-lasting goods. We want to own fewer things that last instead of more things that fall apart quickly.
3) Regional Consciousness
The loss of traditional manufacturing jobs to low-wage nations has triggered a growth in interest in supporting local artisans to counteract the effect on our local economy.
4) Ecological Consciousness
The popularity of "disposable" or "landfill" apparel and jewelry is falling because of our growing concern for the future health of our planet.
5) Resource Consciousness
The growing awareness of the amount of non-renewable fuel involved in transportation of goods across the world has encouraged consumers to find local producers of the same product.
As we study our habits in light of new information, we become part of the movement in conscious consumerism. The word "cost" ceases to be only about money. We carry on as integral players in a consumer society, but liberated from old patterns. Our knowledge influences our behavior. Our behavior affects our habits, and our habits affect our planet, our environment, and our society.