I recently made the decision to make more of an effort to buy local Australian brands; with the main benefits being that I am supporting local companies that are promoting values I agree with and reducing the carbon footprint of the products I purchase at the same time. I still do my research before making the conscious choice to either purchase local, overseas, or decide if it’s worthwhile to attempt to make a product myself.
The idea of voting with your wallet is a new concept to me, but it makes so much sense.
Buying a product really does translate to condoning not only the product itself, but also its manufacturing process, the packaging it comes in, and the ethical values of the company that made it. It leads to increased production of that same product and the propagation of those same values, which whether we realise it or not, has immense power to change our world. A purchase is an investment in that company and communicates to them to continue manufacturing that product because it is what you, the consumer, wants to buy. If that company does not contribute a product to the world that has been thought out with an ethical, sustainable or mindful approach from start to finish, then you are inadvertently supporting a company that pollutes the environment, uses unfair work labour practices, and wilfully creates waste by ignoring sustainable design. So in essence, every dollar you choose to spend on that product is a vote saying you agree with everything that specific company does and encourages them to keep doing things the way they are currently doing it, whether that be in a positive or negative sense. Isn’t that just mind-blowing? When I learnt about this, it really impacted my view on my everyday purchases and forced me to consider the hidden layers of impact behind the things I decided to buy. It forced me to reconsider whether my purchases truly reflected my values.
So my suggestion is, if you like a product but something about it isn’t right, e.g. there is a lot of unnecessary packaging, made with too many chemicals, or is manufactured in an unsustainable manner, and these issues stop you from purchasing that product, then let that company know. This is a surprisingly simple but powerful action. It may not feel like you can initiate change as one person, but collectively as a group, if enough people make their voices heard, the company might just decide to change their practices for the better. Let’s create change together. ^_^”
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