Gone are the days when it was acceptable to buy a widget from the cheapest place it could be found. (Thankfully) we have moved past that as a culture, and many of us are coming to recognize the values that we are upholding when we spend our earnings with certain companies or individuals. For example, when you buy from a company that treats their employees well, you are supporting the likelihood that these employees will get to continue to keep their good jobs, while simultaneously rewarding the company for their practices.
When buying gifts, or when selecting items for yourself, the culturally-conscience among us will advocate this rule of three: (1) shop local, (2) buy handmade, and (3) reuse second-hand.
Shop local campaigns are broadcast from communities to encourage spending at small local businesses who inevitably contribute more to the local economy and employment opportunities than the larger, bog-box department stores do. Similarly, “Buy USA” type campaigns are implemented to support the manufacturing economy on a national level.
Buying handmade or hiring a freelancer or self-employed individual means you are directly supporting someone’s livelihood, supporting the arts, and indirectly saying “no!” to the unfair labor practices of overseas factories.
Finally, buying or donating second-hand items prevents land-fills from compiling unnecessarily, and often goes to financially benefit local charitable causes.
What’s one small thing you normally buy at the department store that you can purchase from a smaller business or get handmade in the future? Every little bit helps!