As consumers, we are far more aware than we ever have been. Whether shopping in store or online, it's not enough anymore to just pick the items and add them to our basket, we are asking questions such as:
-How the crop to make the fabric was manufcatured (organic or not)
-Under what conditions was the garment manufactured (Social Responsibilty certified)
-Where were the garments made in the world?
-What is the carbon footprint associated with the garment
-What charitable things are companies doing?
But then, it get's a little more complicated with conflicting points such as organic cotton has come under scrutiny for contributing to water shortages across the world. However, synthetic clothing is petroleum based, like plastic. The use of leather is regarded as cruel by some, but faux leather is often a form a plastic, that we all know is causing horrendous and immeasureable damage to the planet. Whilst garments that attempt to repurpose plastics with garments made from recycled plastic are criticised for releasing microfibres of plastic into waters when washed.
Shopping is laced with these major paradoxes of ethics which can quickly set your head into a spin of what is conscious consuming anymore, how far does it go, and most importantly for now: Where should I shop this Christmas?
While waiting for big brands to get on board, the most powerful thing that we can do at Christmas is to shop local and independant. This cuts straight to the point of ethics and through mass consumerism on the High Street.
There are some myths about shopping independant that may have put you off in the past. This can include that the products will be more expensive.I'd disagree with this and oftentimes things can be cheaper than you'd expect as an independant business hasn't as many overhead costs to absorb as a mass retailer.
Secondly, when you are buying from an independant business, you are supporting their livelihood so customer service is probably going to be top notch. They'll deal with your order personally and do their best to get it right because your purchase isn't in an endless sea of many and it really matters to them.
Read some more mythbusting points about shopping independant here
We have a list as long as our arm for Christmas shopping and the appeal of hitting up Amazon, adding it all to cart (from Chicken stock to christmas cards, books, toys and slippers) is overwhelming as The Big Day gets closer.
What if you challenged yourself to buy just one of the things on your list from a small, independant retailer?
It can be as small as a card,a coaster or a pair of socks - if it's not pruchased from a mass retailer, you've really helped out a small business.
The rumours are true.. we do a happy dance when we are notified of a new order. In this way shoppers can give the gift that gives twice! To the shop owner and to the recipient.
This Black Friday has been the busiest day yet at Boofy- so many happy dances that I became dizzy! I know that lots of my readers have already bought from me, and likely other independants this Christmas, so thank you for doing the one thing that has certainly done good this Christmas.