Nov. 22, 2021

16. Where to start with socially responsible shopping


Today's letter is about where to start with socially responsible shopping. Here's the letter:

When I think about all of the harms created by all of the products I buy, I get overwhelmed. Where can I start with socially responsible shopping?

I often feel the same way too. If there’s one change to start with, I would suggest looking for more opportunities to shop locally. This can reduce a few different harms at once. For one, it can reduce the environmental impact of ordering something online and having it shipped. You’re saving on the transportation and packaging. You’re also investing in your neighborhood. Often, the shopkeepers are family run businesses that are always being threatened by the big retailers. So you’re reducing another harm there. If you’re in a gentrifying neighborhood, you can pour money into the small businesses that may be struggling to hang on with the rising property taxes and rents.

If you’re already shopping locally when it is possible, the next area to think about is buying from companies with good track records.

This may mean that you stop buying products from a company that has values that don’t align with yours. Or you try to reduce the amount that you buy from that company.

It may also mean that you actively seek out companies that have fair trade practices or a social cause associated with their success metrics.

It may also mean that you seek to shop from marginalized business owners. I’ll give you an example, rather than buying a culturally appropriated design from that store at the mall, look for vendors within that community that are making and selling crafts.

So that’s how I would think about a possible set of stages to try as you dip your toe into socially responsible shopping. Start with shopping local, then move on to reducing the amount that you shop from crappy companies, increase the amount that you shop from companies that share your values, and then look for opportunities to buy from marginalized business owners.

I’ll include a bonus tip too. If you’re a gift giver, I’d encourage you to set a goal that this year you’ll give gifts from marginalized business owners. It’s a double win, not only are your dollars going towards growing that business, but now you’ve also introduced another potential future consumer to their products.

To submit your letter to the show, email spenddonateinvest@gmail.com

To support the show visit buymeacoffee.com/spenddonate

Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/spenddonate)
Transcript

Today's letter is about where to start with socially responsible shopping. Here's the letter:

When I think about all of the harms created by all of the products I buy, I get overwhelmed. Where can I start with socially responsible shopping?

I often feel the same way too. If there’s one change to start with, I would suggest looking for more opportunities to shop locally. This can reduce a few different harms at once. For one, it can reduce the environmental impact of ordering something online and having it shipped. You’re saving on the transportation and packaging. You’re also investing in your neighborhood. Often, the shopkeepers are family run businesses that are always being threatened by the big retailers. So you’re reducing another harm there. If you’re in a gentrifying neighborhood, you can pour money into the small businesses that may be struggling to hang on with the rising property taxes and rents.

If you’re already shopping locally when it is possible, the next area to think about is buying from companies with good track records.

This may mean that you stop buying products from a company that has values that don’t align with yours. Or you try to reduce the amount that you buy from that company.

It may also mean that you actively seek out companies that have fair trade practices or a social cause associated with their success metrics.

It may also mean that you seek to shop from marginalized business owners. I’ll give you an example, rather than buying a culturally appropriated design from that store at the mall, look for vendors within that community that are making and selling crafts.

So that’s how I would think about a possible set of stages to try as you dip your toe into socially responsible shopping. Start with shopping local, then move on to reducing the amount that you shop from crappy companies, increase the amount that you shop from companies that share your values, and then look for opportunities to buy from marginalized business owners.

I’ll include a bonus tip too. If you’re a gift giver, I’d encourage you to set a goal that this year you’ll give gifts from marginalized business owners. It’s a double win, not only are your dollars going towards growing that business, but now you’ve also introduced another potential future consumer to their products.

To submit your letter to the show, email spenddonateinvest@gmail.com

To support the show visit buymeacoffee.com/spenddonate