If you’re a consumer, you may have noticed a pattern in the way major companies communicate with you. Everyone will find some niche phrases to fit their demographic and make sure they’re highlighting their product. You find that companies compete using themes and ideas that aren’t actually mutually exclusive. You find yourself navigating a sea of misplaced information through which you must wade. All this, to buy something that comes down to whether you like it or not.
Consumerism for the sake of itself has not existed for long, at least not to the extreme extent that it currently holds. The “treat yo’ self” movement has taken over but it does come from a basic need that propels the continual buying of products. It goes deeper still: there is such a wealth of product types, company brands, and options at every level; in almost every location. So, for the consumer, there is a greater decision to be made and often times it is hard to know which product or company to trust. Therefore, communication through marketing and such exists. The problem is, however, that a deep-seated corruption has permeated this channel for a variety of reasons. Paired with things like The American Dream and basic societal development, products have undergone an evolution that has branched out so far from their roots. Still, this catalogue of classification connects every product.
The strands of the product-consumer relationship have become so thin because – for so long – the consumer has supported the unique properties of a product and often prefer this over simplicity; apparently, it’s what makes something special that promotes interests and catches the consumer’s eye. But, we’ve reached a point where stretching further will be detrimental, if not done correctly. The individual branches of unique products sometimes overlap but have created divisions across consumer interest leading to the question we want to address here: Why have “luxurious” and “sustainable” become mutually exclusive?
Basically, it all seems to have started because of the major clash of ideologies during the Vietnam War. This was a major crossroads in the definition of the American person and people chose to simultaneously pick every direction. Doing this started to splinter the creation of products into various factions: high quality became synonymous with one-time use while depending on the bare necessities led to extreme wear and tear on a product. People saw the differing outcomes and chose to disagree with them, effectively removing any possibility to connect luxury to the idea that it deteriorates or that sustainability cannot be fashionable.
A candle is the perfect product as metaphor to rekindle the relationship between luxury and sustainability. As something that literally dissipates as it is used, it can embody both ideals. We’ve reached a point where natural products and general preservation have finally become widespread and popular, making this the best time to reconnect all the various properties of a product to check all the boxes of what a good consumer item should be.
In creating a candle that stands for the human element, we wanted to make something that embodies that complexity simultaneously. First, we started by creating something inspired by passion. Second, we focused on the idea to minimize our carbon footprint and continue to limit the negative effects that production can have on the natural environment. Finally, we designed a product that fits a luxurious aesthetic. By doing this, we found a medium that can meet all consumer expectations without discrimination or having to target a smaller segment of the market. This is the type of product and mentality that breeds natural competition and allows the consumer to truthfully choose their preferred product. While we would like to be the only option for a sustainable and equally luxurious hand-made soy candle, the free market demands constant change. That means that we must follow suit and work to satisfy the customer; that does not mean we need to compromise our beliefs or the quality of our product. This compromise is a trend that has emerged over the time after industrialization and one we hope begins to die down.
The value of luxury is not something that hinders on price and sustainability does not immediately depend on frugality. These are two values that are complementary and they can absolutely work together. To separate these into different categories is irresponsible and unnecessary. A well-made candle is a blend of different ingredients just as any well-made product is only as good as the tenets to which it holds. We can only hope that people start to agree with what we have to say and start to choose Mia’s Co. Candles as their favorite.