In a time when it’s easier than ever to find any product imaginable within seconds, it’s becoming harder than ever to know where your product is coming from and what the values of its brand are. Here are a few tips to make ethical shopping a little easier.
1. Identify Your Values
It’s hard to narrow down the values you want in the brands you shop with, but it is important to prioritize. Not every business will be able to fulfill all of your expectations, and having a few must-haves will make it less overwhelming to find products that work for your ethics.
For instance, you might want a brand that takes supporting women to the next level, like Beverly Hills MD, or maybe vegan ingredients are what is important to you. Whatever your cause, there’s a business out there that has made it a priority and will be a safe option for your shopping needs.
2. Shop Second-Hand
A common issue with ethical brands is the high price they charge for their products. It makes sense that their products would be expensive since they’re most likely paying their workers a higher wage and using high-quality materials. If you have the money to invest in these brands, go for it! But many people simply can’t rely on ethical stores for all their needs, and sometimes they just won’t carry what you want.
That’s where second-hand stores come in handy. A thrift, vintage, or charity shop is a great place to let your creativity run wild and stock up on some essentials. Since everything at these shops is pre-used, there’s no need to worry about the ethics of the product, and you can shop a little more freely. Plus, these items are often cheaper than what you could find at a normal retailer, so it’s an economic choice as well as being sustainable. Just remember to donate any items you don’t want anymore to offset what you’ve consumed.
3. Use A Guide
Thankfully, the issue of ethical consumption is one that many people are concerned with now. There are a lot of great tools and guides to help you find ethical brands, like The Good Shopping Guide. You can plug in the name of a brand you’ve been looking at and discover how it fits into your ethical parameters. No brand will be perfect, but you might be surprised by what you discover about brands you may have already discounted.
Plus, these guides can help you find more than clothing or food brands. You’ll also find information on ethical news sources, ethical forms of money, energy sources, pet food, and more. An ethical shopping guide can help you transform your shopping habits without draining your pocket or your time.
4. Less is More
The most important thing to remember about buying new products is that it’s rarely necessary. Today’s society is extremely consumption-focused, and there’s often a lot of pressure to buy something new. Rather than clicking on every ad you see or putting everything in your shopping cart, consider taking a more conscious approach.
Keep a running list of things you need, and things you want. Chances are, you might find something you’ve needed or wanted at a thrift store. And waiting to buy something gives you a chance to really assess whether you really want it or not. Think about how this new product will fit into your life. Will it solve a real problem and enhance your life, or will it just add to the clutter?
Conscientious shoppers might take the time to look up a company and find that information on its website, but it’s not common, and it’s even less common for the company to share all the information. Having a few good practices under your belt for when the siren of consumerism calls will help you make more ethical choices more frequently, without having to get stressed out.