THE BLOG

Why It's Time to Be Part of Positive Week

08/10/2014 12:11 BST | Updated 07/12/2014 10:59 GMT

This week, some of the most socially and environmentally responsible brand's in the world are coming together to convince us that what brand of mascara you use, or what kind of watch you wear is as important as the career you've decided to pursue or the area you've opted to live in. And not for the reason you'd think.

Positive Week will see influential business leaders and activists gather to discuss what more can be done to use business as a tool to support people and the planet. For us as the consumers, a programme of talks and awareness starts with showing how to choose better mascaras, watches, venues for dinner and all of the fun things that enrich our lives.

Why? Because if you're treating these decisions as superficial, you're losing the right to champion your values and protect the lifestyle of yourself and others.

A mascara after all, is not a humble mascara. It may be assembled by a factory worker who earns less per week than you do in ten minutes. One who might not even know what these strange gel-coated wands do for the women who want to use them, and understand even less about the confidence that being able to dress up and to carve a personal identity, affords you. The box that it comes in may have come from materials sourced from unprotected forests, destroying the local ecosystem and contributing to CO2 emissions.

As you glance at your watch while you're getting ready, you may not spare a thought for the fact that it might have come at the expense of pumping waste materials into rivers where they contaminate the water supply of communities without the infrastructure to support good health, leading to death and decay.

The reality is that considering the origin of our favourite products hasn't become part of our day-to-day thought process. Why? Firstly it's down to a lack of knowledge. The packaging we see on shelves rarely contains details of a brand's commitment to treating its staff and environment (and therefore ours) well, so we simply haven't learnt to use this information as a point of difference. Secondly, it's because sourcing this information and factoring it in is time-consuming.

For both of these reasons, this year as part of Positive Week, Positive Luxury will unveil the Trust Button, which consumers like you and I will be able to use to indicate which brand's we respect for their ways of working. A hover over the button (displayed on brand's website) will allow us to see that brand's social and environmental actions and allow consumers to give important feedback on what's important to them.

As part of social media's ability to hold businesses and individuals accountable for their actions, it is hoped that the button will quickly become a way of empowering consumers to do good in a fun and simple way, without changing their way of living. Held up against the industry champions such transparency should gradually start to encourage the brands which are not operating in the way that they should, to do more.

They call it a mascara wand for a reason...