ArteFino: The Economics of Being Socially Conscious
There’s a reason why the world’s biggest shopping malls are in the country. Fondly called “the national pastime,” shopping has become a constant–an easy means for escape, and a tangible way to affirm your hard work.
But in a world that’s increasingly becoming more conscious (or ‘woke’ in modern parlance), things are bound to change.
More and more businesses are slapped with the reality check that the rising demographic of consumers now check the labels, look at the reviews, and post about their experiences online.
And as more and more businesses sober up to this new reality of conscious consumerism, more and more invest in CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) projects.
The Rise of CSR
CSR has gone from a simple gesture of billionaires to a necessity of a successful business. Today, CSR programs are the backbone of corporate philanthropy, and can also make or break a brand’s marketing strategy.
It started as early as the 1800s when American business stalwarts Andrew Carnegie (US Steel) and John D. Rockefeller (Standard Oil) donated to social causes more than half a billion dollars. But it wasn’t until the 1940s when CSR became more than a personal conscience project as businesses–and not their owners or shareholders–could support charities.
What does this mean for businesses and consumers of the digital age?
It could mean everything.
According to a global online study by Nielsen, millennials are more likely to pay extra for eco-friendly products, while respondents aged 15-20, known as Gen Z, are also willing to pay more for products and services made by companies that have a positive social and environmental impact.
Ethical shopping is on the rise with the power given to the consumers–the power to ask, the power to demand, and the power to know what these businesses stand for.
Do you try to research on the things you buy and the companies behind these products? Are your purchasing decisions based on a personal principle or value that you uphold? These are just some questions that conscious consumerism, an increasingly evident consumer mindset, is trying to instill as a means to combat a world driven by capitalism.
Becoming a conscious consumer doesn’t happen overnight. In a lot of ways, it’s a constant struggle. It asks for effort – privilege even, on our part to make positive decisions during the buying process. Choosing fair trade chocolate (which probably costs more) over your usual chocolate bar, supporting a local furniture maker, or sourcing your materials from suppliers who practice sustainable methods are just some examples.
The Heart of ArteFino
Some businesses have even taken strides to not just marry businesses and CSR, but to instill the spirit of CSR to the very core of the business.
Such has been the case for ArteFino, a craft fair created by five visionary women with a passion for art, culture, and social entrepreneurship. More than just your usual fair, ArteFino prides itself with its close partnership with the businesses, patrons, and the communities that they support.
Here, conscious consumerism is more than just giving a buyer the better choice – it’s about giving them an honest, informed choice.
Haspe Design Studio, just one of the 130 vendors featured in the upcoming fair, aims to uplift the local manufacturing industry. The excellent craftsmanship and skill of their furniture makers take centerstage, all the while supporting sustainable and environment-friendly practices in all aspects of their production.
Anthill, another exciting vendor, works with weaving communities across the country and local designers and businesses to transform these traditional fabrics into modern stylish pieces. At the heart of Anthill is the mission to keep weaving traditions alive and to provide livelihood to these often forgottem communities.
You’ll get to meet people, hear their stories, and learn more about what it takes to create products that come from a place of compassion. ArteFino opens its doors on August 29 to September 1 at its new venue, the Fifth at Rockwell, Power Plant Mall. The theme for this year is “Pamana” or heritage, a fitting call for us to embrace our culture and support what is ours.