My name is Rebecca, and I’m the person behind Choose Conscious.
I originally studied Applied Biology with a focus on environmental science and grew up passionate about the environment. I have always lived by the sea and surrounded by nature; I explored South America in my 20’s. I went on to live in Brazil for a couple of years, where not only did I have a chance to continue my connection with nature but I also learnt a lot about how the world is divided by wealth.
On return to the UK and through a series of events I ended up pursuing a very corporate career, nothing to do with anything my younger self would have expected and in which I remained in until recently.
There isn’t a huge story to tell; there isn’t much of a story at all, not one where I can say I was inspired to start this business by a magical moment or a special person, its a combination of things, including magical moments and special people but mainly it’s about waking up to what is happening around me remembering that I know better. That coupled with a desire to change, to make better choices and to create a business that supports that.
I, like many, have been consuming too much for too long. My focus has been on convenience and speed, not thinking about where items come from. Be it fast fashion, fast products, fast food—popping into high street stores when I need a fashion fix, heading over to Amazon whenever I need something, anything—then not even questioning it when the 10cm by 10cm item turns up in reams of plastic bubble wrap and a 1m by 1m box—not thinking about the individuals working to fulfil ours and millions of others needs. All of this doesn’t even take into account the additional impact on the environment of animal based food production and animal products.
I admit I still like and want convenience, but like many, I’ve certainly recognised that its time for a change and to slow down on the consuming. In 2010 I challenged myself to not shop for any clothes for a whole year. I knew back then that something was wrong with the fast fashion model. We don’t need seven pairs of cheap jeans; we need one decent pair, a pair that hasn’t harmed anyone or anyplace in its manufacturing process. Yes, that may mean that single pair will cost us more, but that’s right, Jeans should not cost £10 to £20, we are just conditioned into cheap and fast and need to relearn the real value of products.
I only lasted with no shopping for three months, weak!
So maybe there is more of a story than I thought. Waking up and recognising what is going on around me, the stress the planet is under, the way big business is treating people, the corporate treadmill, the way animals are treated, the disconnect we all seem to have to these behaviours.
Well, that is what has led me to create this platform. It is just not good enough anymore for businesses to only be about profit. There is nothing wrong with profit, but it should be about the triple bottom line. People, Planet and Profit, using business for good. Yes, this is a selling platform, yes it asking you to buy from it. Still, it also wants to offer a way to consume that guarantees that purchase causes minimal impact and in many cases, support makers and communities.
By building this community of sellers and bringing this platform to the market, it aims to strike a balance between consuming and its impact, be that on people, planet or animals.
Choose Conscious wants to be part of the movement that challenge big businesses and how they operate, that questions the accountability, we want to be a business that makes a difference but still allow consumers to do just that, consume but consciously.
The largest online platform on the planet, with a business model that is built on mass consumerism, uses the name of the largest tropical rainforest on the planet. The irony is not lost on us. The Amazon, amongst many other incredible things, is a global regulator, it works to stabilise the climate at local and global levels.
Jeff Bezos Amazon is not.
Let’s challenge that.