Whether you’re aware of it or not, but shopping with a conscience is the future of shopping.
Who doesn’t love shopping? But do you know the stories behind the brands and products you’re buying and the effects it’ll give once you purchase it? Read up the seven ways to shop smartly with conscience and help save the environment and community:
A way for an improved economy is to support the local businesses and brands. With our economy a little bit wonky nowadays, our local businesses and community is in need of a push from consumers. Get to know the shopkeepers and learn more about the products they sell. Also, there’s a lot of local business that has set up their shops online. So, it’s no excuse for us to say it’s inconvenient.
Fair Trade Shopping
Not a lot of people may know this, but fair trade is the most effective way on helping the people living in poverty. Buying fair trade products support farmers and craftspeople with fair working conditions, provide education for children, and more jobs to women. It also gives more opportunities to offer their goods to a wider audience as each purchase sold will receive a fair profit from their crops or crafts.
For example, the Penan Women Project will be having an event on selling their woven bags and baskets at The Little Gym, Hartamas Shopping Centre where 100% of the profit will be given to the Penan community in a remote part of Sarawak. Click here for more information.
Shop Products That Give Back
At times some brands offer a particular product that gives back to the community, whether it’s a month dedicated to raising awareness like Breast Cancer Awareness, or all year round. The Body Shop is selling their ‘Candles of Conscience’ where they have partnered with local NGOs including Malaysian Nature Society, Women’s Aid Organisation, and Sisters In Islam. Currently they have raised more than RM30,000 to give back the community.
Besides products, there are also big companies that give back to the community by Corporate Citizenship Programs. One of the companies that have the best CSR reputations is Microsoft as the company have donated millions of dollars to all around the world.
A lot of big brands we know are not very environmental friendly and releases a big carbon footprint to the environment. Climate Counts is one of the sites that have listed down companies’ impact on global climate and also research things like carbon emission and how transparent the companies are about addressing climate concerns.
Social Conscious Impact
Just like companies neglecting the environment, there are a number of companies who took advantage of the community. Unfortunately, a few of big fast fashion brands are known for slave labour from developing and third world countries. Read up the news on slave labour or you can go to End Slavery Now to know more details and which companies uses slave labour. You might need to cut back your shopping trips to fast fashion brands.
Choose a Cause and Support
Whether it’s animal cruelty-free, social good, or eco friendly, having a passion for what you’re supporting will make you feel better of your purchase. With doing this, you’ll start focusing on finding products that’ll support your local economy as well. If your cause is animal rights, then PETA has a list according to countries on which companies that doesn’t test on animals. Click here to check on Malaysia’s list.
Don’t Throw It All Away
What we mean is, if one find out that the products you’re currently using practises unconscious methods, don’t throw it straight away. Instead, use the product until it’s finished. Either use it, or give it away to someone that needs it. Better yet, recycle it! We’ve listed down places on where you can give away all your old clothes if you don’t ever need it anymore.