Rewarding customers for sustainable decisions & conscious consumption on Club Rakuten

Now, more than ever, consumers are considering social, economic, and environmental impact of their shopping habits. Consumers are calling for better transparency and accountability from brands to make more informed purchasing decisions.

Why conscious consumption?

The driving force for ethical shopping

Today’s younger generations are taking an ethical approach to shopping. The large demand for sustainable products is especially high among younger generations, in particular Millennials and Gen Z. According to a study conducted by McKinsey in 2019, 76% of younger UK consumers are seriously concerned with environmental causes, and 54% of younger UK consumers are concerned with social causes. 9 in 10 Gen Z consumers believe that companies have a responsibility to address environmental and social issues.

Conscious consumers are calling for transparency. They are eager to learn about the materials used, and the labor practices associated with production. This builds trust and customer retention. Fashion Revolution’s Consumer Survey Report shows that consumers demand from brands to have sustainability certificates (80%), or ethical certificates (72%), to publish their social and environmental policies (75%), share detailed information about the environmental impact of their products (78%) and about wages and working conditions of the people in their supply chain (70%).

What does “conscious consumption” mean?

The consumption process begins when we think about what we are going to consume. Most of it happens unconsciously. If we have a desire, we satisfy it, without accessing the necessity of this particular moment. This is where common consumption differs from conscious consumption. The NY Times defines conscious consumption “as an umbrella term that simply means engaging in the economy with more awareness of how [your] consumption impacts society at large. Shopping sustainably, with the intent to preserve the environment is one way to consume more consciously.”  Reducing waste, reducing the carbon footprint, using sustainable materials, producing organic or vegan products, renting, recycling and repairing (the three R’s of Circular Economy) products or supporting charities are more examples of conscious consumption.

The challenges for consumers

But while the demand for transparency of brands is growing and consumers are willing to shop more consciously, they often don’t know where to find equivalent products. As study results of Rakuten Insight show, 34% of UK consumers don’t know where to find sustainable products.

Which are the relevant criteria of conscious consumption?

Rakuten has identified four criteria for conscious consumption.

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1. Circular

These brands create products or operate in ways which minimise waste – employing reuse, sharing, repair, refurbishment, re-manufacturing and recycling to create a circular system. This might involved selling reusable items, or manufacturing durable products that are guaranteed to last. This minimises the use of resources and the creation of waste, pollution and carbon emissions.

2. Eco-Friendly

In order to divert waste from landfill, these brands have systems in place to reduce waste or reduce the impact of waste from production or packaging. This can include recycling waste such as plastics, glass or paper, or using eco-packaging that’s recyclable or compostable. Brands which also reduce their carbon impact actively manage and reduce greenhouse gas emissions within their production or distribution processes, in order to take action against climate change.

3. Organic and Vegan

Using sustainable and organic materials is a way to reduce emissions, avoid chemical fertilisers, pesticides or genetic modification. Brands which ensure that their products are made from materials grown or farmed in ways that do not negatively impact the environment also ensure maintenance of habitat, wildlife, and natural resources and thus prioritise the long-term wellbeing of air, water and soil.

4. Gives Back

Conscious Consumption also entails ethical purchasing decisions. By consciously deciding to purchase from a brand that supports charity work or communities, consumers can support causes such as community or youth development, education, arts, environment & nature and much more.

Club Rakuten is rewarding customers for shopping consciously

Club members already benefit from a variety of perks, such as collecting Rakuten Points while shopping on Club Rakuten and the company’s partner sites. Those points can be redeemed for more shopping, watching blockbusters on Rakuten TV, reading ebooks or listening to audiobooks on Rakuten Kobo, or for international calls with Viber. Experience a more rewarding world with Rakuten:

Rakuten aims to empower customers and fulfill all their sustainable desires, by expanding their sustainable brands category, including the areas fashion, beauty, tech, food, health products and much more. To make it as easy as possible for sustainable shoppers and Club Rakuten Members, Rakuten has just launched a conscious shopping campaign with many sustainable, circular and ethical brands visible at a glance:

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Brands, such as TOMS, Dr. Martens, Free People, The Body Shop, OXFAM, Burt’s Bees and many more have joined this campaign to highlight the importance of conscious consumption.

And to make it even more rewarding to make better and more conscious decisions, consumers earn double Rakuten Points and get a free copy of “The Uninhabitable Earth” by David Wallace-Wells with Rakuten Kobo eBook.

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