We’re all guilty of letting time slip buy and having to quickly grab something for someone as a gift during the busy holiday season. This year may you take your time, start early, and shift from mindless consumption to being a little more conscious of the sources of what you buy as well as where it comes from, how it was made, and who made it.
Do your research and look for craft shows, privately owned boutiques, or shop ethically online. You can opt for buying from a small producer made in your area or find a big name company that functions ethically.
Top Reasons Why Ethical Shopping is Much Better Than Mindless Consumerism:
- Support Local – Imagine if most everyone supported a local artisan by gifting from them rather than a piece of plastic something-or-other bought at any old box store, it would be amazing. The artisan would be financially supported and continue their work, the gift giver could smile knowing they’ve spent their money well, and the receiver would get something unique to enjoy.
- Good for the Earth – You have control over what products you support. Opt for natural, handmade products instead of off the shelf generic. Some examples are soaps, candles, beauty products, baked goods, and more. You’ll bypass the unpronounceable additives for a more natural product. You can of course shop online at Etsy or try Amazon’s new line Handmade if you don’t have local crafted goods near you.
- Less Packaging – Take your reusable bags when shopping markets or shops and pass on the plastic. Be thoughtful about any packaging, politely decline boxes and plastic containers if they can be avoided and aren’t necessary in keeping the product safe from damage. When wrapping gifts, use boxes from your recycling and newspaper as wrapping. You might even find companies that are consciously packaging.
- Support Ethical Work – Seek out local or commercial companies that treat their labor fairly. Find a slow fashion producer, buy fair trade products, and look for companies who give back to both their employes and the land and oceans, like Teva who runs a project called A PAIR FOR A FOOT, for every pair of shoes it sells the company commits to cleaning a linear foot of shoreline.
Have fun shopping ethically, and share your finds with friends and family to encourage them to do the same. We have power as consumers to support fair, ethical, and environmental practices. What ethical goodies have you found near you?
*Here are two events happening in Busan where you can purchase ethical gifts:
- Holiday Trunk Show, Nov 22 4PM (Slow Fashion)
- BIWA Christmas Charity Bazaar, Dec 5 10AM-4PM