Pay Attention To Product Materials When Making A Purchase

When you’re looking at buying an item, perhaps the first things you’ll pay attention to are how it looks, whether it does what you need, and the price. You might notice the material for what it feels like or the aesthetic, but have you ever stopped to consider the resources it’s taken to get that item to the shop in the first place?

Paying attention to the materials your product is made of is important from both an environmental and a social perspective. In this post, we explain why.

Care for the environment

The materials in your products affect the planet from the start of their lifecycle to far beyond when you’re done with them. It takes huge amounts of energy to extract raw materials from the earth, and then they have to go through a long refining and manufacturing process to make them usable in our devices and clothing. This, again, uses more energy. Experts suggest that just one pair of jeans creates anywhere between 33-80 kg of CO2

As well as the carbon impact, clothing production in particular, can harm the ecosystems surrounding the factories. Without proper care, waste products can leak into the ground and waterways, poisoning the water and animals. 

Certain materials can be bad for your health

In recent years, there’s been a big switch towards more ‘natural’ products, particularly in the skincare industry. Many of us now understand that what we put on our skin impacts how we look and our health. Yet we don’t extend the same care to the other items in our homes—our clothing, which touches our skin, the furniture we sit on, or kitchenware that holds the food we eat. 

Certain common materials can be problematic for your health, especially if you have a pre-existing condition. For example, Clothing labeled as wrinkle-resistant may contain the harmful chemical formaldehyde. The same goes for stain and water-resistant fabrics. Even microplastics from takeaway pots – which many of us use to microwave our food – can end up in our stomachs.

Think about the labor that went into the item

The final central point to consider when choosing a product is the labor that has gone into creating the item you’re holding. If you’re buying something for one-time use or wear or only expect the item to last for a few months, you probably haven’t considered the amount of effort and potentially problematic labor that has gone into your new purchase. 

It’s really important to consider whether the material used has come from an area known for low-paid labor or human rights concerns. If we continue to buy these products, they’ll appear on the market.

What can you do about it?

You, as the customer, have the power. If we all collectively try to buy better items for us, the planet, and the people who created them, companies will be forced to review their processes and move with the times.

It’s not possible to be perfect 100% of the time. But by being more conscious of what we’re buying, choosing products that will last a long time, and using materials that don’t harm the environment, we can all help improve the world.

Show More

Todd Smekens

Journalist, consultant, publisher, and servant-leader with a passion for truth-seeking. Enjoy motorcycling, meditation, and spending quality time with my daughter and rescue hound. Spiritually-centered first and foremost. Lived in multiple states within the USA and frequent traveler to the mountains.

Related Articles

Back to top button