5 Great Ways to Become an Ethical Shopper
Modern consumerism might look like it’s all neon lights and discounts wrapped up in sunshine and rainbows, but there is an ugly truth hidden behind the things we buy that would make your stomach turn. From the slavery and the exploited children who made your favorite dress, to the packaged goods you buy from popular brands that are ruining the natural world around you, there is a need for each and every one of us to become a more ethical shopper.
Doing so will allow you to de-stress and fall in love with your daily routine, and also help you make the world a better place. These needn’t be any drastic changes to your lifestyle, just a few quick-and-easy fixes to your buying habits. Here’s what you can do.
Embrace a “less is more” mindset
We’ve become obsessed with owning stuff. Why have a single pair of shoes for every occasion when you can have several, why equip your kitchen with the essentials needed to accommodate the daily needs of your family when you can stuff your cabinetry with pots and pans you’re never going to use? Because consumerism is our addiction.
And it’s high-time we broke away from its shackles. An excellent way to get yourself to embrace a more minimalist mindset is to tend to some thorough decluttering around the house. But don’t just throw stuff away, instead donate it to the people that actually need it. You’ll be a better person, and you will have created a healthier living environment. Once you’ve decluttered, be sure to refrain from buying the things you don’t need – learn to live with fewer things and you will be happier.
Fix up, recycle, and reuse
When the time comes to buy something new, ask yourself if you could eek out a bit more time and use of the things you already own. For example, you could restore your old pair of gym shoes or your entire gym wardrobe to its previous condition by simply dropping it off to the tailor’s. That way, you won’t have to part with your favorite pieces, and you will be supporting the local talent in your community.
Take a look around your home to identify the things that could be repurposed for something else, such as an old dresser that you can put in the garden and use its drawers as the perfect soil beds for your plants and flowers. You see, it only takes a bit of creativity to breathe new life into something old and worn out.
Support small businesses that support worthy causes
It’s not just about buying locally-sourced goods or preferring family-owned brands, it’s also about finding the companies that are actually trying to make a difference with their selfless actions. The perfect example is a brand that donates a portion of the sales to a worthy cause, such as a baby clothing brand that launches a baby clothes sale online and donates some of the revenue to an organization that treats premature and sick newborns. These are the type of selfless brands and company cultures you should be looking for.
By helping businesses that donate to charities and worthy causes, you are effectively contributing to the cause yourself – and remember, every donation counts. So be sure to ask around for the company’s values and vision before you buy in order to discover the ones that are truly making a difference.
Buy something pre-loved
There is nothing wrong with buying something that’s already been used. In fact, it’s one of the best things you could do for the environment. By visiting flea markets and charity shops in your community, you will be doing your part to minimize the impact that production has on the environment, and you will have become a healthier person inside and out. After all, there is nothing quite like the feeling of knowing that you have done your bit to protect the natural world around you, and even support local artisans and families.
Support the local community
Speaking of, understand that there is no need to always buy from the big brands. Quite the contrary. The multi-million-dollar corporations rarely care for the interests of their shoppers, let alone the health and preservation of the environment, but the local brands just might. From local farmers’ markets to artisan shops, there are many wonderful places in your community where you can buy healthy, organic, and sustainable goods produced by the hands of the people you know, the people that care for you and the environment.
To shop ethically means to take a stand against modern consumerism, and to cleanse your mind, body, and soul of its toxic embrace. With these tips in mind, you have the power to influence your local community, make a profound impact on someone’s life, and ensure a healthy and blissful future.