The ‘KNOWN EFFECTS’ of consumerism.

Have you ever wondered about the products that you purchase? Where they come from? Who made them? Has our environment been jeopardised through your purchase? Was child labour involved? Is packaging really needed? .....and the list goes on!

If this subject interests you then I encourage you to read this interview with Ainsley Schumacher who is the founder of KNOWN EFFECTS; an online marketplace that is destined to become a one-stop ethical shopping platform.

effects of consumerism


KNOWN EFFECTS is based on the ‘KNOWN EFFECTS’ of consumerism.

We wanted to create a community that supports businesses both small and large that are making positive changes to the way business is done. We have built an online marketplace that will become a one-stop ethical shopping platform. We are focused on creating a community filled with like-minded people from all areas from artisans, makers, fair-trade advocates to those who are driving the way in sustainable lifestyle products and living. KNOWN EFFECTS want to see small ethical businesses grow and we are driven to work with each brand to make this happen.

Our vision is to create awareness for consumers about the KNOWN EFFECTS of ethical consumerism, along with changing the buyer pattern to adjust how businesses do business and making conscious choices in purchasing more sustainable, longer life-cycled products. We will be doing this through community and social events, v-logging, live chat's, educational talks and travel, spreading the word about what KNOWN EFFECTS is and that we are here to support and grow small ethical businesses.

effects of consumerism

What motivated you to establish KNOWN EFFECTS

In our travels around the world in our early 20’s, naïve to say the most, we were confronted with atrocious working conditions in some countries we had visited. When we started to look further into the process of how clothing is made in manufacturing companies and we were incredibly disheartened to learn the answer that that ‘bargain’ $3 shirt was actually only possible because of horrendous working conditions, next to nothing pay rates, child labour….these kids would have been the same age as my children now and I look at them and couldn’t imagine having to put them into that environment. Everything about some of these places made us angry, sad but motivated in wanting to make a difference.

Then KNOWN EFFECTS was founded, in 2015. In this time we had taken every step we could to gather as much research and talk to many businesses to evaluate if people needed this type of marketplace in their lives and lucky for us this was definitely missing. In 2016 we started to build the KNOWN EFFECTS marketplace from the ground up.

Our motivation is that the reality is no-person or business is perfect but if we combine our knowledge, experience, failures, achieved goals and grow together so we can help each other reach the same end goal of more ethical & sustainable businesses, products making fair-trade priority on the larger scale and pushing the larger companies to be responsible for their products, including all of their workers and environmental impact.

effects of consumerism

From ingredients to packaging, have you noticed to shift in consumers favouring natural and organic products over others to achieve a more sustainable life?

Packaging is one of our worst enemies. As consumers we buy a product we want but don’t put much thought into the packaging because we just want what is inside, no real thought about way happens when we throw the packaging away. Annie Leonard quoted that “There is no ‘away’. When we throw anything away it must go somewhere”. She is right, it has to go somewhere, and that place is into our earth, to undeveloped countries that don’t have the resources or capacity to handle the rubbish, into the air we breath and the ocean we are surrounded by. This ‘away’ is slowly coming around full-circle and will impact us all if we don’t take control, educate and enforce changes.

Interestingly, even the 45 – 65 age bracket demonstrate a consumer awareness surrounding the importance of purchasing ethical, natural and/or organic products. It is not only the younger generation who are becoming increasingly aware of the dangers of chemicals in our foods, beauty products etc. The shift to purchasing natural and organic products has stemmed from consumers becoming aware of marketing loop holes surrounding product labelling and this education has driven some consumers to properly consider what they are buying, putting into or on their bodies and back into the environment.

For businesses we understand that creating sustainable products can be a major shift in an already made process however when we join forces and give each other guidance we can start to feel confident in making changes to our production to become sustainable, even when it starts with packaging.

Packaging is one of our worst enemies

How is stocking a brand on KNOWN EFFECTS more sustainable than running their own physical store or online store?

I have personal experience in running both a physical and online store. The main downfall of physical stores is the overheads that are associated with brick and mortar set-up. From electricity to rubbish – a bricks and mortar store has a much higher negative impact on the environment than an online store that lives and breathes in a digital world. Instantly, an online store is more sustainable to our environment than a physical one.

Some new and established businesses are confused and overwhelmed by the digital landscape and struggle to create an online shop that not only functions correctly, but isn’t costly to create and will be visible on search engines to the online shopper. This is another reason that brands like to align to KNOWN EFFECTS as we take care of all this of this in-house. We set up your store and even have an in-house social media expert to help grow the brand online by engaging directly with specific target consumers.