Consumer Who Defines Sustainability.

‘Aaaj kisiki pant nai jaegi neeche!’, exclaimed one of the vendors across the road. My ears halted and my eyes instantly moved to support, what he was referring to. The ’not so old’ dark looking lean guy, was busy selling belts by shouting on the top of his voice. A good number of people surrounded him. One of his colleagues was opening and showcasing designs to his customers. As I went near, renowned brands were visible to me, available on his setup for the product variants of leather belts.

Imagine! A guy selling extremely fine knock-offs of belts in just 150 rupees for a pair. Who can dare to beat this increasing hype of fake products reaching people? Industrialized mass-produced copies of original products are misleading a large segment of market and some ‘not-so- sensitive’ customers. The demand and supply chain is dominated by this sector so much that no other lead can make its space through. People are losing the value of their products and in turn nothing connects them to it in order to retain it for a longer time.

The context here is to talk about how sustainability is directly related to the value added to a product. The value can be both monetary and intangible. When something as simple as a belt is bought with some sort of value, in terms of a brand value or maybe as an exclusive piece, one tends to retain it for a very long time. Sustainability in terms of the durability increases when things are bought with some sort of emotional connect to it. Does not really matter how often you use the product but it is always there with you. The products serve you for a longer time. When things which are just bought without any consideration, one like the knock-off belts, one does not really care for how long the product is a part of his life. It is mere a product to facilitate an action or serve a purpose. Directly affecting the consumption rate, the industrialized products are those viruses, which tempt you to first reach the core and the eats you from within. Besides high consumption rate these also affect the traditional ways of crafting valuable products.

The only difference visible in the rate of consumption in rural and urban areas has this reason following. The affluent lifestyles in urban areas make the low valued products loose connect with the mind of its customer.

Artisans are running out of business. What other choice do they have! Either they have to sell their two days of hard work in less than 150 rupees or remain workless. Many are skipping the art of handcrafting and joining the industries because of this reason.

As a customer myself, I consider it my responsibility to be sensitised enough toward my buying activities, which are affecting my environment. Being an urban consumer, one’s poverty is increasing to become affluent in monetary lifestyle but very poor in values towards their own environment. They know how to define sustainability but lack enough courage and consciousness to apply the same.

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