Shopping Ethically – Tips and Tricks

Shopping EthicallyTips & Tricks

We all want to do good in the world, well, we all should want to do good in the world. One major place we can start is with the power of consumerism. Every time you spend money you cast a big vote into the kind of society YOU WANT. For example, over the last few years people have been very vocal about how wrong animal testing is and thanks to this, companies are now stopping animal testing and making it very clear that they do not test on animals via their websites, on their products by using well know symbols or by doing open activism against what they feel is wrong within their industries.

If you would like to change your shopping habits and make a difference in the world see the tips below. If you have anything you would like to add please feel free to do so also.

  1. Do I Really Need It??

Before you even leave your house, ask yourself if you actually really need something?? Even though it may be tough, you have to hard, firm and HONEST with yourself. Do you really need it?

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A lovely second hand crop top I bought from Oxfam

2.  Does It Need To Be New??

Ok, so we have figured out, that you do in fact REALLY need it…. but now we need to figure out does it need to be brand new? If it is something that can be second hand like clothes, furniture, cooking utensils, books etc etc.. search in secondhand stores, online, go to car boot sales and markets and make sure to ask around, ask people you know. Do your homework and you will most likely also get a far better price than store bought brand new.

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Getting my nails done at Skinfull Affairs on Exchequers Street. A beauty salon using ethical vegan products only.

3. Can It Be Ethically Bought??

Ok, now we have figured out that yes, you do really need it, yes it does need to be brand new….so we need to figure out can it be from a reputable ethical company?? This is where your money can really make a difference. By buying from a company with a conscious and morals you are showing the industry that this is what you support, you support companies that make a difference to the world, be it how they treat their workers, how they take the environment into account when making a product, whether they test on animals or the sort of chemicals they use. The list is long but some companies are going above and beyond to makes these differences and our job i feel as consumers with a conscious is to make sure we support said companies and buy from them, even though they might be more expensive than other companies, the extra money goes into the extra care they take to make your product ethical and cruelty free.

4. Educate Yourself

This is getting easier and easier as new ethical companies are popping up all the time. Know what you want and do your research on where it can be ethically bought. This might seem a little daunting and time wasting initially but after a while it will become second nature and you will find yourself advising other conscious consumers. A good website to help with this is PETA UK (for European based consumers) and a great app to check whether or not companies make a good impact to the world is Good On You , it allows you to check a companies rating in the app and will give you updates on ethical consumer news.

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Using my LUSH reusable bag to do some fruit and veg shopping at Fallon and Byrne Dublin.

5. Shop Organic Products

This covers your food, beauty products and anything else that can be done organically. It is especially important when taking food into consideration. We should be aiming to buy food that has as little nasty chemical influence as possible. Who wants to eat a vegetable that was been sprayed with chemicals we cannot even pronounce?? Not us, not the conscious consumers!! When the opportunity arises buy organic!! Sometimes people just associate the word organic with costing more, not always the case, organic products can usually be the same price as other non organic products or even slightly more expensive., but far healthier.

6. Support Your Community

If there is something you want and it can be sourced locally, this is what you need to do. Not only is it less travel etc etc but chances are that they are not a mass producing company, not harmful to the environment and their staff are either friends or family so will be treated wonderfully. There is also a huge change you will be able to talk to the founder of the company and ask any questions you would like answers to. They will be more than happy to answer and to talk to their costumers.

Above all else is just try. Try, learn, fail and try again. The more and more you take these practises into your daily life, the easier being a ethical and knowledgable consumer becomes.

Do you have anything you can add to this list?

x

Saoirse.

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