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How shopping sustainably can be budget-friendly

It doesn't feel like a stretch to say most people agree that shopping sustainably is a good thing to do; to buy products made of materials that don’t harm the environment and are produced in supply chains that treat everyone involved fairly, and with respect. However it’s often assumed that sustainable products are far more expensive than their traditional alternatives, encouraging people to stick with what they know. At Beagle, we’re here to show you why this isn’t the case, and how you can use the Beagle Button to swap your usual go-tos for great sustainable alternatives!

Sustainable products aren’t always more expensive!

The market of sustainable products is growing rapidly, and the increased competition between brands is making these products more innovative and accessible than ever. We are here to shine the spotlight on great sustainable brands, including many that definitely compete on price with their non-sustainable counterparts. Here are a couple of great examples we love:

All Earth Mineral Cosmetics Produced entirely in Cornwall, All Earth Mineral Cosmetics offer a wide range of products, with skin health and the environment at the core of their brand. Their refillable ‘Pots for Life’ are made from Cornish sustainable beechwood and reconstructed fishing nets salvaged from the oceans, and all of their products are vegan and cruelty-free! Their mineral foundation is £18-26 depending on the size, which is much lower in price than foundations offered by many of the mainstream premium brands such as Estee Lauder, Clarins and Charlotte Tilbury. What’s not to like!?

Waves Flip Flops Waves Flip Flops are made from 100% natural rubber, which is biodegradable, and they also recycle used rubber flip flops and offcuts from the manufacturing process into new pairs! They are also vegan and of course, completely plastic-free. The price of their flip flops starts at £16, which is £10 less than the lowest price point of a pair of Havianas!

Check out our blog on some more Sustainable Footwear Brands, many of which are comparable price-wise to similar mainstream brands. It’s really worth shopping around and discovering great sustainable brands that not only offer amazing quality but also value for money! Speaking of value for money...

Switching to sustainable products can even save you money!

Have you ever thought about how going sustainable could actually save you money? This is where the wonder of reusables comes in, and although they can require a higher upfront investment, in so many cases this is so quickly paid off that you can even start to earn back money!

A couple of great examples of this are products that we use every day at home. Reusable nappies have become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason! There are many reports out there that claim that nappies take hundreds(!) of years to break down, and WRAP reported in 2018 that 3 billion nappies go to landfill every year.

Reusable nappies simply need to be washed, and they are ready to use again! The recommendation is to purchase around 20 reusable nappies so that you aren’t left searching for a clean one in times of desperation, but these 20 will be all you need for those first years. Brands such as Little Lamb and Baba and Boo offer sets of 20 for between £215-230. According to WRAP, parents can get through anywhere between 4,000 and 6,000 nappies before their baby is potty trained, which would cost over £900 even on the conservative end of the scale. Imagine also, that the reusable ones can then be passed down to a sibling and the value for money more than doubles!

Looking at some more household staples, EcoEgg have some great products that are also extremely affordable. Their bamboo towels are designed to replace kitchen roll, and can be washed and reused up to 85 times; with 20 per roll that’s the equivalent of 1,700 towels for £8! The equivalent number of kitchen roll sheets would cost over £180 from most supermarkets. Whilst you’re on the EcoEgg site, pick up one of their Laundry Eggs - a sustainable, natural alternative to laundry detergent that costs the equivalent of 14p per wash to begin with, going down to 10p per wash once you start to buy the refills. In comparison, washing pods from Persil or Ariel, for example, come in at around 16p per wash.

And don’t forget your keep cup - with many retailers offering discounts for using your refillable best friend (Pret - 50p, Paul - 50p, LEON - 45p), you can pay off the cost of your cup and start earning back money in as little as 20 morning coffees!

The real cost of non-sustainable brands

Of course, there are many non-sustainable brands out there that are highly competitive on price and are using this to tempt us away from our better judgement. But consider, how is it possible to produce these products so cheaply?

In 2019, the UK Goverment released their annual report on Modern Slavery which stated that police in England and Wales recorded 5,059 modern slavery offences - a 49% increase on the previous year. Research also shows that over 40 million people worldwide are still victims of modern slavery.

Lower cost products are also much more likely to contain harmful or hidden materials or substances, to achieve the required price point. Think palm oil, or a whole host of chemicals found in makeup including PFAs or ‘forever chemicals’ that the Marine Conservation Society reported this year are harmful to marine life and highly polluting to the oceans, proving potentially impossible to remove from the environment once they enter it.

It has never been easier to be an activist, and the easiest way to start is to look at your own habits and purchase decisions and see where you might be contributing negatively to the planet or its people. You can then start to choose sustainable alternatives that are good for your health, good for the planet, and might just even save you some money!

Who are we again?

The Beagle Button is here to help you make switching to more sustainable, eco-friendly goods easier. From fashion to homeware to foods, by becoming a user we’ll notify you whenever we find a “better” option for the product you’re looking at. These better options vary from a range of characteristics such as being vegan, sustainable, animal friendly or plastic free, but one thing they all have in common is that they’re products we thoroughly believe in, and know you’ll love too.

By downloading the Beagle Button, we can continue to help you find great products like these, helping you to make more informed and conscious decisions, paving the way for a more sustainable future. Sign up ahead of our launch on our homepage.