How to be an ethical shopper
Hey beautiful people,
It’s been a while since my last post but I’m back with a flurry of awesome bloggy treats for you to enjoy, embrace and share.
Today, I’m sharing some ideas with you on how to become a more conscious and ethical shopper.
I know you care about people and the planet. How do I know this? Because you wouldn’t be scrolling up and down the pages of this little site dedicated to all things fair trade and ethical if you didn’t.
But I also know that it’s not always easy to make the “quote-unquote right choices” when you hit the shops.
Many of us are torn between the choices we really want to make and the money in our pocket. Not to mention fact that we lead busy and demanding lives and sometimes we choose convenience over doing what we know deep down to be right.
Hey, I’m not preaching, I’m in the same boat which is why I’ve put together 5 super simple tips that you can start implementing in your life today.
It’s always worth remembering that little changes over a long enough period of time can result in massive transformation in the end. After all Rome wasn’t built in a day.
If all of us made little changes in the way we shopped we could seriously change the world. But it starts by making the decision to be a more ethical shopper.
So, let’s dive right in. 5 ways to a become a more ethical shopper.
1. Buy Fair trade
Now, I know that you know this already but it’s still worth featuring on this list.
When you go shopping there’s only one way you can guarantee that you are genuinely helping the grower, manufacturer, designer etc, and that is to buy fair trade.
When you buy fair trade you are helping to ensure that the person responsible for the thing you are about to enjoy receives a fair wage for their work.
And, when people get paid a fair wage they don’t need charity. I know that sounds blunt but it’s the truth.
The more we make fair trade choices at the shops the more we support and encourage the growth of the worlds economy in a fair and sustainable way.
And doing this is such a doddle to do… the next time you stop in at Starbucks ask for your hot brew to be made using a selection of their fair trade beans. Or the next time your in the supermarket add a bunch of fair trade bananas or tea to your basket.
2. Give gifts twice
Giving gifts that pay it forward is fast becoming a growing trend.
It’s no longer an “absurd” idea to give someone a cow through Heifer International (yep, that’s right a cow) or to support entrepreneur women all over the world through organisations like Kiva.
In fact there are tons of non-profit organisations and charities that offer consumers the opportunity to give gifts that pay it forward. Go check ’em out and give someone you love a truly life changing gift that they’ll never forget.
3. Shop locally
Now, this is something that I’ve messed up on several times over the years. But since moving to a small market town I’ve become a lot more community focused.
It’s so important that we support local business and do our bit to help them to thrive and prosper.
Not only does this benefit your local community but it helps to attract more people to the area because people want to see places that are brimming with activity, unique character, charm and a sense of regional pride.
Here’s the thing, you can’t complain about your local bookshop or clothes boutique closing down if you buy all your books on Amazon and if your wardrobe looks like a Primark bargain bucket.
Being a more ethical shopper starts with becoming more conscious and more aware of the choices you make everyday. And I can’t think of a better place to start than in your own community – effectively in your own back yard.
4. Become a farmers market cheerleader
If you are lucky enough to have a farmers market near you then don’t dilly dally, get your little toosh down there asap.
The great thing about farmers markets is that the produce is grown locally.
Plus, if your market offers organic ranges then you truly are on to a winner.
Grabbing your grub from farmers markets will often save you money at the till and the quality of the produce is arguably better than you’ll find in the local supermarket.
This is because it hasn’t been travelling for hours around the globe before it lands on your plate.
So, this little tip is both ethical and environmentally friendly too. Win-Win, baby.
5. You are what you wear
And finally, yep, you guessed it, apparel.
It will come as no surprise that ethical fashion makes an appearance on this list.
I won’t harp on about the sad and immoral life stories that are woven into the fabric of most clothing brands on the high street.
But the truth is unless a brand states that their clothes are ethically made and they have certification to prove it then you cannot be sure that the artisans are being treated with respect and are receiving a fair wage.
Ethical clothes are made to last because the artisans are given sufficient time to create the work and in most cases they use better quality materials.
In many cases ethical clothing brands tend to adopt fair trade principles in their manufacturing processes as well and they often take into consideration additional factors such as sustainability and eco-friendly approaches. Check out this fantastic video with actress Emma Watson.
This tip might seem like a massive undertaking and by no means am I suggesting you empty out your wardrobe and start fresh today (well, not unless you want to).
Just start small. Seek out ethical and fair trade local businesses or brands online the next time you need a new T-shirt or a pair of jeans.
Like I said at the top, start by making small choices everyday and see how you feel. Trust me it’s far less daunting than it may seem.
So, there you have it, Nat’s 5 tips on how to become an ethical shopper.
If you’ve got any suggestions of your own on how we can live life in a more conscious savvy way then let me know by sharing your ideas in the comments below.
Till next time,
Love Nat x
Big up: www.theguardian.com, www.dailymail.co.uk, www.heifer.org, www.celebritychef.tv & bethevansramos.wordpress.com for images. Pearl Grace does not claim to own the copyright of the images used.