What is shopping with a purpose, you might ask? It’s a new way of shopping, that reaches beyond tactile things and merges Fair Trade principles, skilled artisans, empowers marginalised communities AND supports community development all rolled into one yummy ball of goodness!
We’ve been living in a disposable society for a long time (too long in fact), however, slowly the tide is turning towards each of us being a responsible consumer. This is by and large due to education and the choices we have but also out of necessity as it becomes increasingly evident on how much pressure we’ve been putting on our planet. In this article, we look at why shopping with a purpose makes sense and the benefits this consumer model can have on you, on your community and on our world.
Creates Good Spending Habits
Shopping with a purpose forces you to analyse your shopping habits. Rather than just shopping blindly and without much thought, it poses questions like; do I really need this? Where is the best place to buy it? Can I make do without it? To name but a few. Asking ourselves these types of questions will result in less frivolous spending and in turn save us money. Keeping up with the Joneses where there is a bottomless pit of “needs” and “wants” doesn’t serve anyone. Shopping with a purpose, on the other hand, serves many.
Sharing is Caring
The trend of cause-driven companies and marketing is on the rise and motivating large businesses to create positive impact. Huge brands like TOMS are good examples of this, where for every pair of TOMS they sell they give a pair of shoes to someone in need. Not only does this have a socially conscious draw it is also a brilliant marketing technique as people are promised the feel-good factor that comes with their purchase befitting others.
This trend is not exclusive to the business sector. Oxfam’s Unwrapped Gifts “gifts that keep on giving” pave the way to rethinking the way we place value on “things.” Do we really need more “stuff” or would receiving a gift of giving (see what we did there) an African community a goat or honey bees for income generation be a satisfactory Christmas gift from a loved one? It makes us shift from thinking we need more and more to being grateful for what we have – satisfied with “enough.”
Shopping with a purpose is not exclusive to big companies or charities, it extends to your local farmers, those artisans you’ve always considered buying from in Northern Thailand and everyone in between! Shopping with a purpose thrives in socially good practices that don’t just support the needs of the lone consumer but the needs of others in our shared global community.
Did you know that 10% from every purchase you make through Local Bazaar goes directly to support local community projects through our Community Works program? Learn more about the exciting organizations and communities we support here!
Following hot on the tails of saving money and giving back, shopping with a purpose is also beneficial to our already stretched environment. By being environmentally conscious consumers decide what, where, how and why we purchase things and in turn automatically decrease our environmental footprint. When we put purpose into our shopping habits we are also likely to get more creative and recycle or upcycle what we already have and therefore shift from a disposable society to a conscious society.
Vote with Your Cash
As with any new lifestyle change or adjustment it pays to do your homework, so let’s start with the basics. What is ethical shopping? Harnessing your purchasing power by researching what different companies actively do to run their companies ethically and how they give back to communities and deciding which ones you want to support – yep it’s as easy as that to be part of this retail revolution! Likewise, discovering that a company does not have sound ethical practices is great as you can then choose to not support them by not buying from them. The old saying “cash is king” comes to mind and is worth coming back to as you consciously navigate the consumer world with a new-found purpose.