The word “sustainability” seems to be on everyone’s lips these days, but what exactly does this monster of a term mean and how can we implement it into our everyday life? According to Investopedia, sustainability focuses on meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

1Source view: One way we can create a sustainable world is to shed light on the butterfly effect stemming from supply chains and rewiring the consumer market. 

We live in a capitalist society, where the economy is propelled by the consumer’s market’s needs and demands. It is no secret that waste and pollution caused by industrial, military and commercial processes are a huge damaging force to the environment, and with the rise of social movements such as environmental consciousness, go green movement, anti cruelty movement, we’ve seen a change in consumer behaviorism.

However, there is still so much more that can be done. As consumers, we only know so much of the products from what the business chooses to market and tell us. For some products, ingredient labels are in tiny fonts and are often in obscure areas while tag lines are often colorful and bold in order to catch the attention of potential buyers. There is a systemic issue with ambiguity and marketing trends. 

1Source Potential Risk Index

But we need to go one step deeper. It is imperative we understand more than what businesses tell us. Consumers have the right to know and understand individual contents of products they purchase. 1Source was born out of the mission to advocate for complete ingredient transparency and raise awareness around consumer rights in the blur of marketing hypes and ambiguous labels. We see all sorts of daunting chemical compounds on ingredient labels and 1Source website and app can provide a summary of individual ingredients. Most importantly, it turns jargon into easily understood material. We have a database of over 160000 pages where we summarize individual ingredients and rate the Potential Risk Index of an ingredient or product. 

This way, consumers can pick and choose products that are least harmful and toxic to them and the environment, hence creating a sustainable world. This is imperative in the sustainable dialogue as if a product contains harmful ingredients, it goes through the whole supply chain and has to be cultivated, produced, packaged, in order to get to you.Take Phenoxyethanol for example, it is a compound found in 80-90% of skincare products, including one of the products in Kylie Jenner’s skin care line. Earlier this year, the International Coral Reef Initiative, composed of coastal countries decided to ban Phenoxyethanol as it is toxic to aquatic life. 

1Source: Potential Risk Index

Another ingredient worth mentioning is titanium oxide, a widely used whitening agent that acts as a physical sunscreen. It is in a lot of food and is classified as carcinogenic by the WHO. It doesn’t have too much of an adverse effect to us as a cosmetic product however, the workers in the cultivation and manufacturing process are hurt. The particles of titanium oxide is often smaller than microbeads and penetrate the skin easier to get into the blood stream. In simple terms, the dust is hazardous to health, and plays a part in damaging the lungs and causing lung cancer.

Collection of cancer cells

Even though it doesn’t affect the consumers immediately, it affects people on the upstream of the supply chain. It gets into the ocean easier as well as waste management system is inept at filtering nano particles. Nano particles end up getting eaten by fishes and into our stomachs when we consume them, creating an endless circle. 

“Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want. ” – Anna Lappé

 If consumers were to understand individual components in their products and its toxicity, consumers will start making smart, informed decisions and choose less harmful and toxic products. The whole cycle changes.The supply chain and the environment becomes cleaner. What we need for a more Eco friendly and sustainable world is lesser marketing hypes, smarter consumer choices and a world of ingredient transparency. We talk about changing the world, and here is how you can. Use your influence wherever you are and join 1Source in focusing on one ingredient at a time.