4 Step Guide to Ethical and Sustainable Shopping
Ethical shopping, breaking up with fast-fashion, becoming a conscious consumer: these are all terms you may have heard tossed around. But what does it all really mean and how does one do it well?
What is Ethical Shopping?
Ethical shopping is buying goods without harming or exploiting animals, people, environments, etc. It can also be defined as shopping in a way that aligns with your personal beliefs and morals. For more background on this concept, check out What is Ethical Shopping.
What is Sustainable Shopping?
A brand can be ethical and sustainable at the same time. To be a sustainable shopper is to intentionally utilize and consume the most efficient and beneficial goods and services for the Earth and the life upon it.
Steps to Becoming an Ethical and Sustainable Shopper
Step 1. Find Ethical Brands
Look for brands that align with your personal ethics. For example, here at 2nd Story Goods we are a registered nonprofit; we believe in fair wages, recycling, and doing business in a way that is good for producers, consumers, and the environment.
Step 2. Reduce Consumption
In the 21st century, we are basically programmed to consume, consume again, and consume a little more. By buying less, we can prevent overconsumption which adds to our carbon footprint and ultimately hurts the planet. An alternative is buying higher quality items that will last longer so that can purchase them less often.
Step 3. Give More Love to Pre-loved Items
Another alternative is buying secondhand items. Purchasing or renting items that are upcycled or previously owned reduces the material and energy that are used in the making of each new item.
Step 4. Put your money where your heart is
The most important step in becoming an ethical shopper is to stray away from companies that are not behaving responsibly (i.e. fast fashion brands), and to instead buy from ethical brands. By diverting our dollars from companies that are not putting people and the planet over profit, and instead putting those dollars towards businesses who are operating ethically, we can create the kind of world we truly want to live in. It's a win-win, because we get to make a much needed difference in the world, looking good while doing it.
Next time you think about buying anything (yes, anything!) try searching for ethical or sustainable brands that offer that item. You might be surprised by what you find! We recommend The Honest Consumer for a great list! The journey to becoming a conscious consumer isn't perfect, but every time we make the choice to think before we buy, we can make a difference.
And of course, make sure to check out our wide product offering at 2nd Story Goods for ethically-made accessories, homewares, and gifts.