A February 2022 article from Newsweek, "As Pandemic Shifts Loyalties, Shoppers Favor Brands that Share Their Values", has some facts that caught my eye.
Here are the three that stood out to me:
1."...some 44 percent of consumers choose brands that align with their values..."
2. "...since the pandemic began, 62 percent of consumers said they're willing to change their purchasing habits to reduce their environmental impact."
3. "...more than half of participants from across the world believe it's become more important to reduce their own carbon footprint while shopping."
On MASU's "ABOUT" page I say "After spending SO much time looking, she couldn't find paper that was 100% recycled, recyclable, made in America, AND had great designs." Another reason I started MASU is that I wanted my designs to be on products that fiercely aligned with my values. While I could have chosen t freelance for or license designs to companies that closely aligned with my values, I knew I would never truly be satisfied because I wouldn't have any control over the products and business practices. While I'll cop to being a bit of a control freak, it's more that I am passionate about living my values. I feel great every.single.day knowing my designs are on products that align with my values, other materials used also align with my values, and that I can someday give others a place to work where they feel proud and valued. WORTH IT!
While I'm glad to see consumer attitudes shifting, I also see companies taking advantage of these shifting attitudes by not being completely transparent about their products and practices.
When I was looking for our paper, I came across paper made from stone. When I first heard this I thought "that sounds great!". After researching stone paper, it wasn't so great. Those who use stone paper love to brag that it's tree free, water free, tear resistant, & liquid resistant. That sounds great on the surface, but that's not the whole story. First, unlike trees, stones are not a renewable resource. Most of the stone used is waste from quarries, which is great, but we can't grow more stone. Second, the stone is ground into a powder and that powder needs to be mixed with something to hold it together. Drumroll.........plastic is what holds it together. So, stone paper doesn't use renewable resources, uses plastic, might be recyclable (I found mixed information on its recyclability), and from my research, there are no stone paper manufacturers in America. Businesses that use stone paper or people who buy it aren't bad or wrong. My point is that what is said and what's not said are equally important. As companies read the statistics above, some will find clever ways to take advantage of us. They want to hop on the bandwagon and will twist or leave out information. Be diligent out there friends.