5 Easy Ways to Practice More Ethical Shopping Habits
The following sponsored post is the first of three in this Expert Series on ethical shopping and how it benefits social good. This post has been written by Robyn Hochglaube, MBA, who is the creator and Chief Impact Officer of CitizenRad. Make sure to watch the video at the end of this post to get a quick run-down on this awesome new social good supporting website that I’m thrilled to find out about.
5 Easy Ways to Practice Ethical Shopping Habits.
I’m on a mom mission. I want to start the conversation around how giving (as in charitable giving) can and should be easy. In fact it should be seamless, and I am doing my part to solve this problem by creating a website catering to moms that marries giving with shopping. Because I believe we shouldn’t even have to try – what a novel idea! It is why I created the online marketplace CitizenRad, and it is what I have started to write about on LinkedIn. It’s a message I want to share with you, and hope you will share with those you care about and want to help.
Knowing we all prefer to do the ‘better’ thing, I am sharing 5 ways you can make better decisions about what you buy without making it complicated, and allowing that giving to happen on its own. At the end of the day, the choices we make and the messages we give our children will shape the next generation. But it doesn’t have to be overwhelming or onerous. Baby steps my friends, and here are five little ones you can start with!
1. Get educated.
You are worth the time and effort to get educated. When you find yourself with a bit of downtime, do a quick search for ‘social good products’ or ‘shopping for charity’ and see what you can find. Having done it myself many times, I know you will find at least a few new companies to follow and add to your ‘go shopping here’ list.
But the education process doesn’t end there.
Having a few companies out there that align with your values (be that charitable giving, environmental, social good achieved, fair trade, etc) is a great start to using your purchasing power for social good. Just by perking up your ears, you will soon start to find other companies to add to your preferred places to shop and before you know it, just about everything you need can be purchased from a company who delivers the products and the social good.
2. Hold companies accountable.
The big challenge for consumers is to go beyond the information on tags and ask retailers and brands to disclose where products are made, including details on factories and subcontractors.
Beyond making inquiries in stores, consumers using public forums to ask questions about company practices is way easier and even more impactful as it creates buzz and awareness that social good matters.
The most effective way is people tweeting their questions or putting their questions on Facebook or circulating their questions among their friends.
3. Shop Small and/or B Corp certified.
Not to suggest that larger companies are not ethical, they very well may be! But you will have more of your questions answered, and quicker, by the smaller retailers who place more value on every customer and almost always have a story that you will relate to. At CitizenRad I know first hand that no products were tested on animals and all employees are paid ethically. I also look for products that directly impact the artisan who made them and have many on my site that do.
I recommend, when possible, shopping at some of the small local shops that you have available to you. Online is not for everyone. I get that.
4. Buy secondhand … or be prepared to possibly spend more.
There are many ways to make inexpensive purchases when it comes to socially responsible shopping.
It can be really cheap to go and buy a pair of jeans at a big chain store. Similarly, you can go down the street to a thrift store and buy a pair of jeans even cheaper. You’re helping the environment by doing so, and that can actually save you quite a bit of money.
This is not for everyone of course, but it’s a viable, and environmentally friendly option!
5. Subscribe to some blogs and follow some of the new companies you learn about on social media.
Through these resources you will be made aware, organically, of other companies who will meet your ethical shopping requirements and your awareness will grow without you even trying! And the fun part is you will be inspired by some some small brands just starting out who are passionate about making our world, and the world of our children, an improved world. Pretty rad stuff!
Watch this video below to learn more about CitizenRad.
Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by CitizenRad. Although I have been compensated for my efforts in sharing this information with you, my fabulous readers, I truly believe and agree with all of the above information and tips on ethical shopping written by Robyn. I only share about what I can truly stand behind (which you should already know if you have been following my blog). You can read my full disclosure statement here.