As Mark Earls, founder of agency HERD Consulting said: “The really interesting thing about the wider adoption of digital tech is that it makes the choices and enthusiasms of others more visible rather than less visible.”
So social media has the power to enhance peer group pressure, and spread the word about sustainability. The advantage of social media is that influence spreads through sharing and encouragement, rather than by pressuring people to conform.
Connectivity is also enhancing sustainability by opening up people’s eyes to the ways products and services are manufactured along the supply chain. For instance, slow fashion startup Zady, which aims to create longer-lasting clothes, shows films about the production process of the clothes on its website, including a film of the people involved in making the products. Transparency is an integral part of boosting sustainability, since knowledge about production allows people to choose processes that are more ethical and better for the environment.
Technology can open people’s eyes to sustainability, but messages need to be kept simple and clear. The focus should be first on creating great products that serve a need with built in environmental and social benefits, but technology also has a role in recognising what really transforms our behaviour towards living more sustainable lives.
- ZadyFounder, 2012 - presentgoogle.com/+Zady
- FoodspottingCo-founder, 2009 - 2012
- The New York TimesManager of Digital Partnerships and Social Media, 2007 - 2009
- Georgetown University
- The Blake School
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