buying a better world by shopping small, black owned businesses

The Power of the Consumer to Buy a Better World

A guide to shopping by ethos.

We all like to do little things that when multiplied by the majority of people can add up to making the world a better place. These can be little things like helping a neighbor or donating to a charity. How about we extend this thoughtfulness into the world of business?

Being morally good while shopping for material goods might seem like a bit of an oxymoron yet we can all become responsible consumers. All it means is that ‘being a careful shopper’ extends to more than being able to find a bargain! Through collective societal efforts in thinking carefully about the purchases we make, we can make a real difference.

How great would it feel if every time we buy something we have a big cheesy grin on our faces? Not because we bought the latest gadget, or because we acquired the must-have sneakers, but because we know that the money we spent has directly benefited a community. Our dollars can contribute towards fighting poverty in a developing country or helping reduce social inequality closer to home.

But knowing how to get started with conscious purchases can be tricky. After all, there are a million different products out there so which one should I buy? In this article, we’re going to look at how different types of organizations are contributing to making amazing products and services to help create a better tomorrow.

A Brief History...

Boycott or buy?  

So what is ethical shopping and how did it begin? It’s thinking carefully about the product or service we’re being sold and if we can justify boosting the profits of the company who produced it.

There’s a history of companies who are boycotted due to inhumane treatment of their workers or have ethically reprehensible business practices. One of the earliest modern examples of this was the boycotting of sugar produced by slaves. In England, sales of sugar dropped up to 50% due to a successful pamphlet campaign decrying the evil ways the sugar was produced.

In more contemporary times, L’Oreal faced so much backlash from consumers over its animal testing that the company changed its animal testing policy. At the end of the day, consumers vote with their wallets. Seismic shifts in progress can truly occur when citizens use their purchasing power to protest against the actions of corporations.
east-india-sugar-not-made-by-slaves
Consumers using their purchasing power to reject the trade in goods which have not been ethically produced isn’t a recent phenomenon

Fair Trade

1% for the Planet

Sustainable Sourcing

B-Corp

Black Owned

Women Owned

The Rise of the Disempowered

From art and culture to politics, there’s been a growing refusal to contort to the archaic hierarchy of what’s expected due to someone’s origin. The last decade has seen a monumental dismantling of the old order as we’ve seen the stance of ‘no more shall a person’s gender or race determine their future’ go from mantra to mandate. 

Those who have been systematically oppressed – typically minorities and women – are repainting the picture of who can be the boss, and more importantly, what the boss stands for.

The power we as a society can have through spending power alone is arguably a more powerful action we have into demanding the changes we want to see in the world than voting, or any other form of legal change.

 

Boycotting companies whose ‘profit at all costs’ can make them rethink their ideology. Likewise, the more we support businesses that protect the planet, and those who are led by historically marginalized members of society, the greater the opportunity we have of making business work for us all.

 

While we hope you have gained insight into how we can transform business through our shopping decisions, we go into more depth into the topic areas listed below. 

The Rich History of Businesses

how shopping became sustainable boxed water is better

How Shopping Became Sustainable

Today, shopping is the easiest way forward for conscious consumers who wish to change their habits and lifestyle. What does sustainable shopping mean? And how can we get there? Find out in this article!

Read More »

Our Favorites

better-business-coming-together-b-corp

5 B-corps we love!

When we work together, we have the power to create something better. That’s why we believe in collaboration over competition. As a  certified B Corp,

Read More »