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Unveiling the True Price: A Path to Sustainable Consumerism


Unveiling the True Price: A Path to Sustainable Consumerism - MEAN BLVD

In a world where awareness of the environment and society is constantly growing, a new trend is emerging in consumerism. It's called "true pricing," and this trend aims to reveal the hidden social and environmental costs behind our daily shopping transactions, thereby providing consumers with a new perspective on the real impact of their consumption choices.

This idea suggests that we should integrate social and environmental costs into the selling price of products. Therefore, the price of an item not only includes production and distribution costs but also its impact on society and the planet.

When the "true price" strategy is applied, it can bring both economic and social benefits.

Currently, many costs related to the production and distribution of products are not factored into the selling price. This has detrimental consequences for the economy. As the "true pricing" trend becomes more widespread, companies and organizations are gradually integrating it into their business operations. Non-governmental organizations and governments are also joining this race in the hopes of promoting transparency about costs and encouraging consumers to make more sustainable consumption choices.

First and foremost, we need to understand what hidden costs are. Hidden costs are costs that are not directly included in the selling price of a product or service but are influenced by society or the environment. For example, the production of a product may cause environmental pollution, harm the health of workers, or deplete natural resources, but these costs are not factored into the price of the product. Therefore, raising awareness about hidden costs will help consumers make a more accurate assessment of the social and environmental impact of their purchases.

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In the world of fashion, glamorous brands often conceal hidden costs when producing clothing items. A recent study conducted by the Impact Institute and ABN Amro bank in the Netherlands revealed that the displayed price of a pair of jeans, averaging 33 euros, only represents a small fraction of the actual costs. And that 33 euros already includes the cost of water used, pollution from production, and wages for workers in developing countries.

Faced with this reality, brands like Patagonia have adopted this approach by carefully calculating the true costs of clothing, from fibers and fabrics to production, and integrating all aspects of the supply chain into their calculations. This increasing transparency allows these brands to raise consumer awareness of the challenges and successes in their commitments to sustainability and fairness.

Meanwhile, the True Price study revealed that 95% of consumers would be willing to pay the true price if it were the default price – or understood as the basic price that consumers have to pay, including social and environmental costs. This trend emphasizes a fundamental shift in consumer mindset, which seems increasingly willing to invest in ethical and sustainable products.

We can witness the development of this trend right in supermarkets in Europe. Some specific Albert Heijn stores in the Netherlands have allowed customers to make a choice according to their preference. They can either pay the standard price or choose a slightly higher "true price." The supermarket has placed posters and QR codes in the store, and consumers can use their phones to scan and learn more about these options.

This trend brings many benefits to consumers. They can better understand the true cost of the product, have the opportunity to support sustainable activities, and feel satisfied contributing to charitable or environmental causes. According to a study by Nielsen, 73% of consumers are willing to pay more for products from brands committed to sustainable practices.

However, for retailers and brands, the "true price" is a significant challenge, especially in terms of communication, price management, and new transparency requirements in the supply chain. According to Mike Barry, former Director of Sustainable Business at Marks & Spencer: "Retailers may be concerned about negative public reaction to price increases, especially in times of economic crisis. However, 'true pricing' can become a strategic management tool, allowing companies to better understand their true costs and implement more sustainable long-term operations."

Absolutely, we can see how this approach has the potential to transform our behavior and fundamental consumption patterns, while also contributing to a fairer future for everyone.



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