Consumerism is an essential factor of society and the economy. But if you want to maintain your ethical integrity while purchasing products, you will need to start implementing a few key changes to your habits.
Remember, every time you shop, you are making a statement about who or what you support. So by making ethical consumer decisions, you can make a difference to your community and the entire world.
Always check the label
One of the most important things the ethical consumer must do is to learn how to check labels carefully. Many of the clothing items we discover were produced in a sweatshop overseas, and this is a violation of human rights that won’t go away as long as people keep purchasing these products.
If you want to be a more responsible shopper, opt for brands that are upfront about their sustainable commitments. For example, Debenhams, ASOS and Boohoo are openly against animal testing and never sell fur.
Always bring your own bags
The practice of stores handing out plastic bags is damaging the environment. All it takes is for shoppers to bring their own cloth bags, or even reuse old plastic ones, and people’s carbon footprints can be reduced significantly.
If every consumer committed to this, it would result in a huge reduction of mad-made waste. We each have the ability to make a difference, and it starts with individuals committing to a shift in their behaviours.
Shop at stores that have the same principles as you
Every shop has its own ideological principles, whether it be taking a firm stance against inequality or committing to producing as little landfill waste as possible. Every business has an impact on its local community and the world at large, and ethical consumers will examine their store choices before spending any money. After all, you don’t want to be supporting a business that supports causes and principles you don’t believe in.
Look out for fake items
Consumers need to be clued in on how to spot a counterfeit item. most people assume such items would only be found on dodgy street corners, but in reality, there have been many shops discovered selling fake merchandise. High-end items tend to be counterfeited most often, so it’s a good idea to look up guides for things like how to spot a fake Rolex. Illegal merchandise is usually produced in sweatshop conditions, so when you buy one you are funding organised crime and perpetuating the existence of these terrible working facilities.
There are many more things you can do to become a more ethical consumer, but these 4 tips are a good starting point. As a consumer, you have the power to make a statement about what you support and what your principles are, so don’t make your purchases lightly.