Sustainability is a Luxury

I do not assume that a WholeFoods will be opening any time soon in India.

Sustainability is a luxury. Sustainability is the byproduct of education, time, money, and awareness; unfortunately, a lot of impoverished people have none of these four things. Buying products from sustainable companies can be a lot more expensive than non sustainable companies. Not to mention, these businesses are typically only found in places of wealth. For example, my mother got fed up with her favorite drugstore companies animal testing. Now, she washes and conditions her hair with SheaMoisture. SheaMoisture products are ethically traded, do not involve animal testing, are all organic, and are free of many harmful ingredients such as paraben, DEA, formaldehyde, paraffin, and many others. The company also donates 10% of their community commerce to women-led businesses. This seems like a wonderful corporation to support (which it is). What is the main drawback? The price of their products. My mother now pays ten dollars each for her shampoo and conditioner versus the four dollars she used to spend on the leading shampoo brand.

If my family struggled to keep the electricity running and struggled to put food on the table, do you think we would be buying these environmentally sound products? Of course not. Low income families are not going to be concerned with who and where they are buying their products from– they are just trying to be stable with the money they have. These families cannot be blamed for not practicing sustainable lifestyles. Sustainability favors the well-off and rich individuals.

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