8 Ways To Be An Ethical Consumer

8 Ways To Be An Ethical Consumer

A Better World for All

It is possible to change the world with the power of our purchases and we want to help you do that by offering 8 practical ways to be an ethical consumer. 

"Every time you spend money, you are casting a vote for the kind of world you want"-Anna Lappe

Ethical consumerism is not a destination, it is a journey, and we are on that journey with you. We ourselves are humbled by the stories of exploited artisans, and videos like, The True Cost, by Morgan and Ross, and our hearts are grieved. If we could step back from our privilege long enough to understand the ramifications of our obsession with cheap products, we believe that it would change how we wield our purchasing power.

As a brand, our goal is not only to sell ethically and sustainably made products, but to work to change the narrative for generations to come. Yet here we are, complicit, standing in solidarity, knowing how overwhelming it can be to overhaul generations of fast fashion and over consumption. Therefore, it is a journey. 

The Journey to Ethical Consumerism

There is a Chinese proverb that says, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. - We want to give you 8 practical steps you can take on your journey to being a more ethical consumer. You may even surprise yourself and be farther along on the journey than you think. 

  1. Research Brands- 

Seek out ethical and sustainable brands and then research them. "Give back brands are all the marketing craze right now, which is great, if they are actually giving back. Do your homework, and do not be afraid to ask the hard questions.  "How much of my purchase do you actually give back"? "What causes are you supporting and what is the tangible impact of that support"?  You would be surprised how many brands are green washing to get your business. "Green washing" is deceptively marketing the environmental friendliness, or sustainability of a brands products. Do your research!

  1. Shop Small/Local

Amazon Prime is fast and super convenient, but the conglomerate is putting mom and pop out of business.  Shopping small and local provides everyday makers and families with employment that often extends beyond themselves, and feeds directly back into the local economy. It might surprise you to know that Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and one of the five richest men in the world, only gives 0.5% of eligible purchases to charity. [i]

  1. Shop Pre-Owned.

Second to oil, the clothing and textile industry is the largest polluter in the world, with the average consumer throwing away 70 pounds of waste per year.[ii] Shopping pre-owned is not only sustainable, but it costs less than buying new. 

  1. Give Gifts That Give Back

Make double the impact when you give a gift that gives back. Birthdays, holidays, graduations, weddings and all other life celebrations are the perfect time to give gifts that pay it forward. There are numerous brands and non- profits that enable you to leverage your gift giving for good. 

  1. Know Your Closet

Fast fashion is not cheap. Someone somewhere is paying. Just for context, the U.S is the largest apparel market, but approximately 97% of our apparel sold here is produced in developing nations.[iii] So, what is in your wardrobe? Where are your clothes produced? Who is producing them and under what conditions? Not to name any names, but there is a reason certain box store chains are selling their items on the cheap, and it is not because they want you to have an item so bad that they are willing to eat the cost. Do some digging and find out for yourself what labor practices lead to your closet. 

  1. Focus on Investment Pieces

It is unlikely that you can overhaul your entire closet overnight, but when you buy less, you can spend more! Start with one item at a time, and replace that one thing, with an ethically and sustainably produced counterpart that will not only last but will begin to change the narrative of your wardrobe and accessories in impactful ways. 

  1. Divest and Hold Brands (and yourself) Accountable. 

It is important to know where your money is going and what you are supporting. If your research leads to unethical and harmful practices anywhere along the supply chain, then redirect your investments. Taking back our purchasing power from the fast fashion narrative can be one of the most impactful changes towards ethical consumerism, but this will not work if you are not willing to ask the hard questions and then hold yourself accountable to the truths that you discover. 

  1. Get Creative

One man's junk is another man’s treasure.  You would be amazed at all the ways that you can create beautiful new pieces from upcycled and recycled clothing and textiles. An example of this, is our Dacey Leather wallet which is made by our artisan partners in Guatemala, using upcycled huipil. 





[i]  Amazon will now donate part of your purchase to charity - CNET

[ii] http://www.alternet.org/environment/its-second-dirtiest-thing-world-and-youre-wearing-it;  Forbes – Making Climate Change Fashionable – The Garment Industry Takes on Global Warming

[iii] Fashion: Worn in the USA, but made overseas – Press Telegram

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