Seven ethical Christmas shopping tips

Our study suggests that it is best to avoid making assumptions when it comes to ethical buying from shops or other businesses like local manufacturers. There are many variations in the way shops deal with issues such as environmental sustainability and fair treatment for employees.

These businesses may not want to discuss their policies with customers. It can be a sign that they’re not being rewarded for their good deeds. Taking the time to learn about their policies could have a positive impact.

Here are seven tips to help you shop as ethically as you can this Christmas.

Find clues

When you shop in-store, keep an eye out for posters or awards that show a commitment, such as reducing the carbon footprint of a business or paying their employees a fair wage. In-store and online, you can check if the business has a built-in social or environmental purpose. For example, whether it’s a cooperative, B-corp, or social enterprise.

Listen to the staff

There are some exceptions. Small retailers’ employees often describe their experience as relaxed and familial. Consider whether staff appear to be happy with their jobs, confident in what they do and feeling supported.

Well plaid. Platoo Studio

Be aware of the occasional instances where retailers use illegally hired labour, pay below minimum wage or exploit workers in other way. If you suspect something, tread carefully. You could make the situation worse by asking too many questions. In such cases, the charity Unseen can be a valuable resource.

Go eco

You can find eco-friendly businesses by looking for those that sell only eco-friendly products or offer organic, recycled, and upcycled options. For recommendations, visit a site like Ethical Revolt.

Ask questions

Buzzwords such as “ethical”,’sustainable’, ‘natural” and locally sourced have become very common. However, how retailers define and commit to these buzzwords can be quite different. Consider the word “sustainable”. Some businesses may try to reduce their carbon footprint in a comprehensive way, while others may do something simpler like recycle or reduce energy consumption.

Don’t hesitate to ask a question if you’re not sure what the business is trying to say. Ask about the origin of a product, ingredient, or item. You will still learn something if you ask about the origin of a product, item or ingredient.

Get to know us

Third-party labels can indicate the social and environmental impact of a product. Fairtrade, Organics, Rainforest Alliance and Forest Stewardship Council, to name a few, are examples of a list that includes many labels, some more reliable than others. Some labels do not require that a company be verified or checked by an independent organization before using the label. The list provides a useful guide on what the labels actually mean.

Heeling the Environment. Diaconu94Ana

Ask Around

Many small retailers don’t make a big deal about their excellent work, like helping the community or going above and beyond to help staff. They also may not be able to show off how they reduce their environmental impact. They may do it as part of their purpose and identity.

Keep your eyes peeled locally, and ask colleagues and friends if there are any good reviews about certain retailers. If you find one that is particularly noteworthy, let everyone know about it. Keep an eye out on local media, including social because they can help identify and promote businesses that positively impact their community.

Take a long-term view

No organisation is perfect, just like no person. Support your local business and encourage them to grow. Some may make exaggerated statements, but the majority are doing their best. It’s important to encourage those who take ethical steps. Let them know that you are interested in their engagement and improvement by giving them repeat business.

It is true that Christmas can be an uncomfortable mixture of goodwill, raging consumerism, and goodwill. There are many ways to avoid making unnecessary purchases, such as purchasing second-hand goods, vintage items, regifting or donating money to charity.

When we buy new things, it’s great to know that our purchases are helping others. Support local ethical shops as much as possible to help them grow.

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