Discover Ethical Shopping: How to Start Shopping Based on Your Beliefs and Values
If you mention ethical shopping to most people and ask what it is, you may get many different answers. Ethical shopping is using your buying power to purchase products and services that you consider to be made in an ethical way. The problem is everyone has their own definition of what is ethical.
Ethical shoppers may support products that cause minimal harm to the environment, people or animals. As people become more conscious of what they buy, mostly due to the “green” movement, ethical shopping may be more popular, even if most people don’t know they’re doing it.
If you look at most packaging you’ll see that large companies are marketing to ethical shoppers. Labeling products as organic, Fair Trade, recycled, local, Rainforest Alliance and Made in USA are just a few ways major corporations are promoting their ethically made products.
Of course with major corporations you always have the problem of "greenwashing", making a product appear to be "green" when it really isn't. That's why it's important to have a third party who is able to look at these products and tell you the truth behind the marketing. As free trade and globalization increases there’s more of a chance that you’ll buy goods that were produced in another country by an oppressed worker or made from natural materials that are not sustainable. This is something that concerns many people.
Finding Ethical Products
There are various online ethical shopping guides as well as ethical shopping marketplaces that allow you to see how the products you buy impact the environment, people and animals.
Ethical Shopping Guides – Good Guide is one of the largest ethical shopping guides. They allow you to see products that you buy in the stores and rate them according to how they impact your health, the environment and society. This website gives information on personal care, food, household, apparel, electronics, appliances and cars. With this information you can make an informed decision about the products that you buy everyday.
Ethical Shopping Marketplace – Ethical Ocean is an online marketplace, similar to Etsy. Their sellers have listed on their product descriptions if their product does not harm people, animals, or the environment. Ethical Ocean’s sellers have products ranging from apparel to electronics, cosmetics to home care, food to housewares. Shopping on an ethical marketplace website allows you to support businesses that are making a difference.
These two resources are a good way to start ethically shopping. Ethical shopping does not mean giving up the things you buy. It just means substituting them for things that you can feel good about buying, knowing they support your ethical cause.