We want to start 2017 wishing you a happy new year. As Spanish proverb says “New year, new life”, this new 2017 we present you a new project: ConSuma Consciencia. We contacted with the Founder during The Organic Fair Trade BioNavarra and made her an interview.

Leire Iriarte is the founder and coordinator of ConSuma Consciencia, an online platform whose vocation is to compare the function of different types of entities which offer products and services in different fields of our everyday life : energy, banking, telecommunications or fashion industry.

Could you describe us what ConSuma Consciencia is and what will the platform be used for?

Consuma Consciencia offers to its users resources which will enable them to consume in a warned way. That is why we created a tool which allows you to compare each type of entities, from little cooperatives to big multinationnal companies. In that way, a series of indicators will be implemented.

The indicators will be inspired of some alternative economic trends such as those of the Economy of the Common Good, the Social and Solidarity Economy, Social Responsability and Solidarity and will take into account :

  • The policy of Entities towards the customer
  • The inner Governance
  • The economic Management
  • The Community
  • and How Environment is taken into account.

The information will be collected as reports and will be presented in a rigorous, transparent and traceable way, giving access to all the information sources.

You gave a lecture to BioNavarra called “The aware consumption, a reflection tool for social transformation”, what do you mean by consuming in an aware way?

From ConSuma Consciencia we believe that conscious consumption is a consumption with sense, with value(s), based on reasonable and reasoned choices:

  • reasonable because we only consume the strict necessary to satisfay a certain need or desire
  • reasoned  because once we decide what is necesary or not, we are able to analyse the options and can value these ones and take consistent decisions.

You say that there is not only one unique manner to consume with consciousness. But could you explain us how to put this into practice in our day by day basis?

Consuming with awareness emphasizes the need to develop our own criteria:

  • There will be people who will only focus on the price,
  • and others who will privilege some fairness or ethic principles.

The important thing is that everyone takes time to create its own criteria, analyse the options and take right and adapted decisions.

In order to apply aware consumption, it is important :

  • To take a quiet moment of reflection to decide what we really need.
  • To identify and analyse the alternatives we have and to be able to choose among brands and products we are in accordance with.

If we took time to think on the way we consume, where our money goes and who we shall support, we are convinced that many people would challenge their choices.

This exercise may seems boring but those who already practice it, know that the satisfaction for chosing our own alternatives does not have price.

In which way aware consumption will deeply transform our society?

This way of consumption will help us to be aware of our power as consumers.

The world will change if  we change. As Pepe Mujica -former president of Uruguay- once said : “When you buy something with money, you pay with the time it costed you to earn that money.” So, who are we giving our time to?

It is clear that many people will find difficulties on their way because of fear, and the effect of agressive advertising campaigns.

Others will read these lines thinking on a far-off utopia.

However, who would have thought some years ago of companies offering energy, bank services or telecommunications putting environment and people in the spotlight to the detriment of money (REAS, EBC, Sannas). Or some alternatives constructed around Organic food or Local trade.

In the same way, who would have believe in the boom of collaborative economy and the number of little organizations which, here and there, make their contribution to different issues such as clothes sharing or the consumption of plastic free products like Sinplástico.

We are convinced that something is happening, that there is a general feeling that people are no longer satisfied with anything. We want to be more authentic in the way we relate to our environment, including consumption, and to defende consumer choices we feel best with.

We hope that these reflections and advice will encourage you in your change towards a more sustainable, zero-waste and plastic free life.