There are many strategies to approach sustainability, there are all good but certainly not enough. Other sustainability strategies and approaches such as the efficiency strategy need the sufficiency strategy on its side. With the efficiency strategy, a lot of resources, such as emissions or waste can be saved. However, this solely is not enough. Our population is steadily growing, same as our desire for consumption. Our planet has planetary boundaries, so for instance, just a certain amount of natural resources can be taken from our planet. Our planet can recover and produce new resources, however, once a certain tipping point is reached, the resources are irreversibly gone. That is why the sufficiency strategy is the most promising strategy to achieve sustainable development.
- The word sufficiency comes from the Latin word “sufficere” which means “to be enough” or “to satisfy”. The sufficiency strategy questions overconsumption and can be described in one really easy question: do you really need this product? -
So sustainability strategies such as the efficiency strategy are not enough. You can, for example, look at green and sustainable products. A product that for example was produced really efficiently does not produce much waste during the production process, it does not emit a lot of emissions and it was produced under good working conditions. However, it is still a new product on our planet. It can be produced as efficiently as possible and still resources such as water are taken from the planet and C02 is emitted. So only offering sustainable products is not sustainable. Only by offering sustainable products we cannot make a change.
Even if all our products are produced in a fully efficient and sustainable way, it is too much for our planet. Here the sufficiency strategy steps in.
This strategy basically questions our current consumer behavior and questions whether we really need certain products. In today’s world, people are often buying products without thinking if they really need them. Our media and shops are all full of appealing products and discounts that give us the impression that we exactly need this product. In reality, we mostly don’t need it. You just buy it, it will find a nice place in your wardrobe or on some shelf at your home and after a while, it will end up as waste.
The sufficiency strategy encourages people to consume consciously
People are often going to supermarkets and shops without really thinking. They just go there and buy stuff. No one actively tries to think while shopping. This is exactly what the sufficiency strategy wants. We should actively and consciously think during each buying decision.
Do I really need this product?
Most of the time you will notice that your answer to this question is a “no”. If so, put the product back to the shelf or remove it from your cart. If you are unsure and can’t really find an answer to the question, do the same. You can always come back and buy the product at a later point. If the answer to the question is a “yes”, you can certainly buy it. In this case, every buying decision should be as sustainable as possible. This means that the most sustainable product should be bought.
For businesses, it obviously seems quite hard to use this strategy
If you look at this from an economic point of view, it is hard and actually doesn’t make sense at all because you can’t really tell your customer that she/he doesn’t need your product. The economic view normally does exactly the opposite: you want to generate sales and revenues. We are aware of that.
Still, the sufficiency strategy is a key part of our start-up hejhej
In our case, this comes from a personal point of view. Both of us are really into the topic of sustainability. It’s not just sustainability it’s also the sufficiency strategy that is part of our life. We question consumption and the classic economic point of view. Almost during every decision, we ask ourselves: do we really need this product? Actually, it even became one of our favorite questions and if you once really start to ask yourself this question, it will always come back and it will happen automatically. We personally could not work in a business that is not in line with our personal views. When starting our own business, it was not even a question of whether we go in line with it or not.
We tell people to only buy a new yoga mat if a new one is really needed!
The most sustainable approach is to use a product as long as possible and to not buy any new product. This is exactly what we tell our customers. If the old yoga mat is still working perfectly, we always recommend donating the yoga mats to social institutions. We, for example, donated all our mats from prototyping and testing, which were still too good to recycle, to an institution for homeless people here in Nürnberg.
For us, it is really important to keep our connection with the sufficiency strategy also for the future development of hejhej
All future hejhej-products we are developing will be products which can be really useful or which we perceive as useful – of course, “useful” is a really subjective term. You need to answer for yourself if this product is useful for you and if you really need it. We only want you to buy our hejhej-products if you really need it. If you will answer our beloved question with a “yes”, we are more than happy to offer you the most sustainable alternative which you will find on the market. Our hejhej-mats and our future hejhej-products, such as the upcoming hejhej-bags, will be produced out of recycled materials and they will be recyclable in order to reduce the amount of waste on our planet. Through our production here in Germany, we try to keep the C02 emissions as low as possible. We are closely working together with workplaces for people with a handicap and we are donating part of our sales to different social institutions such as the Earth Child Project. So if you are buying a hejhej-product, you can be sure that we have thought through everything a thousand times, that we have chosen the most sustainable materials and procedures and that your hejhej-product is fully sustainable.
hejhej doesn’t want to drive consumerism. We want to change the classic economy and revolutionize the yoga industry.