There’s no one right way to shop ethically. In fact, there are many ways to be an ethical shopper. At the end of the day, it comes down to your values and where you draw the line when you make purchases.
Overall, however, we see ethical shoppers as the generous people who purchase products that have been manufactured in a socially and/or environmentally conscious and responsible way. To us, ethical shoppers are the infinite, caring people who value products that have been made without harm or exploitation to people, animals, or our environment.
The impact of buying ethically doesn’t go unnoticed. In fact, the positive outcomes of ethical purchases are far-reaching and sometimes global. As an ethical shopper, you are doing a lot for the world, whether you know it or not. You empower, you encourage, you ensure, you help, and you even become.
So, what do we mean by all these 'doing' words?
Well, as an ethical shopper…
1. You empower other ethical shoppers
When you start to use your power of choice to purchase and bring awareness to ethical products, you’re becoming part of a community. Whether you realise it or not, your actions are contributing to a greater picture.
While your actions are powerful on their own, when more people make ethical choices, the easier the process becomes for everyone. It’s true that the more you shop ethically, the more accessible and affordable ethical products will become, and the more people like yourself will feel positive about making the switch! Every ethical purchase you make creates an easier experience for the shoppers who come after you.
Here's a great Facebook community you might like to join too: CLICK HERE.
2. You encourage transparent businesses
In a Ted Talk about ethical consumerism, Oxfam Employee Jason Garman mentioned that the power of the biggest corporations doesn’t match the power of individual consumers because these corporations “need you”. When corporations notice that their customers are switching to more ethical brands, they will make a change in their corporate structure because they need you – the customer – to survive.
As author and eco-activist, Anna Lappé, once said, “Every time you spend money, you're casting a vote for the kind of world you want”. Every ethical purchase sends a message to troublesome corporations that, no, you don’t want to support a business that ignores the consequences of their actions. In fact, according to the Baptist World Aid 2017 Ethical Fashion Guide, companies working to trace their supply chain has risen from 49 percent in 2013 to 81 percent in 2017. So, it’s true that corporations are listening and are even working on making a difference, all because of you.
On the other end of the spectrum, your ethical purchases are showing transparent businesses that you want more of what they are offering; that you are proud of their concern about the well-being of their workers and the environment. Not only are you giving these transparent businesses a bit of an ego boost, but you are actively contributing to a positive supply chain. What you are purchasing is the certainty of continued ethical manufacturing and therefore more ethical products! Go you!
3. You ensure a higher quality of life for workers
If you’re encouraging transparent supply chains as an ethical shopper, this also means that you’re creating a positive impact on the lives of workers at the core of these chains.
The True Cost documentary explores the lives of garment workers in the fast fashion industry. This documentary, if you haven't seen it already, creates a call to action for more shoppers to consider the people who make their clothes.
This message goes far beyond the fashion industry. Everything that is made involves a collective of workers, whether in the food, homewares, fashion, and even construction industries. When you make ethical purchases, you are contributing to equal rights, equal opportunity, and equal pay in workplaces. From family businesses to larger associations, ethical purchases advocate for a fair wage, a safe and healthy working environment, and help marginalised workers lead lives free of poverty.
4. You help the world progress sustainably
While many ethical manufacturers ensure safe living and working conditions for millions of people around the globe, others also contribute to the well-being of animals and the environment as well. As a result, when you purchase ethical products, you are voting ‘yes’ for sustainability!
Sustainable purchases encourage the use of raw, recycled, or biodegradable materials, local manufacturing, reduced energy consumption in production, renewable energy use, minimised waste, organic pesticide use, as well as sustainably managed material sources. All of these actions, including your purchase, contribute to the wellbeing of our world and help to ensure its existence for a long time to come.
5. You become part of a cycle of giving
An increasing number of ethical businesses are finding ways to give back. In fact, ethical shoppers like yourself are the entire reason ethical businesses are able to give back! For example, at Aquamarine Home, we embed giving into what we do. For every ethical purchase made, our giving program Buy 1 Give 1 pays it forward.
When you shop at businesses that give back, you become an integral part of a giving cycle and a key driver of important, impactful supply chains. Without you, many people, ecosystems, and animals around the globe would remain in need and in danger.
So, thank you. We really do appreciate your support and endless generosity, and we appreciate you helping make our world a better place, through making thoughtful and conscious choices every time you shop.
With our deepest love and gratitude, Aquamarine Home.
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What do you think about ethical consumerism? We would love to hear your thoughts and reflections on this in the comments below!