Smart Consumerism: What it is and How We Adopted it
Technology is always advancing, constantly expanding our access to products and services. Surprisingly as our increasingly globalized reach grows, the world seems to become smaller. Shoppers are more aware than ever of issues beyond their local regions that affect us all; a damaged ecosystem, poor working conditions, over consumption of resources, and increasing amounts of waste caused by planned obsolescence and temporary-use products. Over the past decade consumers have become more socially conscious about how they spend their money, and we are no different, both personally and as a business.
As a consumer you have the power to vote with your dollars, but that vote means nothing if businesses don’t take on the same level of responsibility and sustainability you strive for. This type of social responsibility can take many forms within a business; green initiatives, fair trade policies, organic foods and products, supporting local businesses, etc. For Citra Studio, these habits have formed our mindset of what we call “smart consumerism”. You as a customer want to know you’re supporting a sustainable, future-conscious business, and we want to help you foster these great decisions by setting an example ourselves. Smart consumerism takes on a lot of the ideas you probably already keep in mind while shopping, but focuses it under a single mindset. Here’s some of the main points of smart consumerism, how it has formed the foundation of Citra Studio, and how it helps you as a customer.
Buying Quality Products
The tried and true mantra is that you get what you pay for, though we often only recall it after something goes wrong. Though it’s not a hard rule, the saying carries real weight. Quality products are built without cutting corners, more time is spent on the design and craftsmanship, and stronger materials are used. This often leads to a higher upfront cost, but it also creates a product that you will continue to enjoy a decade down the road. Buying quality products that last will also reduce waste and save you money in the long run, since you won't be purchasing the same product over and over again. Paying a little extra for a better quality product will more often than not pay for itself.
Treating Larger Purchases as Investments
In a similar train of thought, when you are making a larger purchase, frame it as an investment. You may benefit from a lower priced cabinet made of particleboard in the short term, but in the long term this cabinet will be nearly impossible to repair when broken or scuffed, and will be tough to resell when you’re ready for something new. A higher priced, higher quality cabinet, however, can be refinished and repaired easily, and will serve you for a much longer time. If you feel the need for a refresh, it will better retain its value for resale. Ultimately in the end, you will save more money by treating these large purchases as means of investment, rather than an use once item.
Rejecting Throwaway Practices
Planned obsolescence has been coined and practiced by manufacturers in all sorts of product types. Phones, fridges, ink cartridges, college textbooks, traditional light bulbs, and some furniture are all designed to fail over time. This in turn leads to you to purchase a new one, causing you to spend more money and consume more resources. Unfortunately, the old product ends up in a landfill, taking years to break down. Look to avoid products that are designed for single use, or those made of flimsy materials. Products made from quality materials can often be refinished or repaired at a fraction of the cost compared to new. Often, large furniture pieces can be fixed by replacing a single part. If you can’t avoid a throwaway product, look to find ways to reuse the materials or recycle instead.
We live, work, and shop in what is an increasingly globalized market. Products and foods from all over the world line the shelves of our local stores. Ideas spread more rapidly, taking a new great product and skyrocketing it to the forefront of the public's mind, regardless of what corner of the world it originated from. Yet, there are still challenges with globalization that need to be solved. The use of child labor, destruction of rainforest, unethical material sourcing, and worker right’s violations are all still prevalent in this world. As consumers we can do our part by researching more about the origins of the products being sold. As a business we do our part to make that research easier, by ensuring our products are made sustainably and ethically.
At Citra Studio, we employ the smart consumerism mindset both as a business and personally, and strive to achieve those principles everyday. We only use high quality materials in all of our products, aiming to create investable pieces that retain their value from owner to owner throughout the decades. Our pieces are sold in small batches, reducing inventory waste that would otherwise end up in the landfill. We even promote the investability and resell ability of our works by producing them in numbered limited runs. We also know every supplier we work with, ensuring that our products are made ethically from start to finish. And this is only the beginning. As we grow we aim to keep smart consumerism at the forefront of all our decisions to become a more socially conscious option for designer furniture and decor. We do this because we believe it's our inherent responsibility and so that you can trust your home is furnished ethically and sustainably.