5 Easy Ethical Holiday Shopping Tips
Holiday Season is always such a beautiful time for giving. Between Thanksgiving and the multiple gifting holidays of December, it's hard to keep track of your ethical footprint and the cash flying out of your wallet. Being conscious of the impact of every purchase you make is already quite daunting and unrealistic to the average consumer. For that reason, we've put together 5 ethical holiday shopping tips to help keep you on top of your values and still aligned with the trends.
There is nothing exciting about gifting items with no relevance to the recipient. Think of their values, what they love and what interests them. Find a gift that provides them with more than just a item; gift them a story. Whether the item is made fairly by artisans in India, handcrafted by a marginalized woman in your own city, or a percentage of the purchase is used to combat sustainable development issues somewhere in need. Buy for the story and they'll always cherish it for the positive impact.
- Shop local.
Whether you are in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York or London, shop local and think global. When you purchase items designed or made in your city or buy items that support local entrepreneurs, you're making a big statement towards the making of cheap product coming from unethical sweatshops and factories. Think economy and environment and your gifting choices will be much more focused on sustainability.
- Strive for unique, one-of-a-kind items.
The most treasured gifts are ones that not everyone has access to. Stray away from fast fashion and chain stores throughout the holiday season. Think unique and authentic. Think upcycled, artisanal and capsule items that are made to order. Browse holiday markets and learn the stories of new products and entrepreneurial ventures you come across.
- Gift education.
When purchasing ethical gifts, include the information about the product for the gift recipient. Whether it is fair trade, upcycled or organic, help spread awareness about conscious consumption so that each year we get closer to our goal of a sustainable fashion and consumer world.
- Stray away from paper products.
Americans throw away 25% more trash during the Thanksgiving to New Year's holiday period than any other time of year. You are just one person, think of the millions of Americans who are purchasing hundreds of gifts for family and friends accompanied by a holiday card, gift wrapping, bows and ribbons. This holiday season, step away from the purchase of paper products. Instead, wrap your gifts in fun recyclable materials, like old newspaper, magazines and catalogues. Use scrap paper to cut out shapes for small holiday cards and stay clear of ribbons and bows.
Keeping your values in mind during the holiday season isn't as hard as you think. It can actually be much harder to give up on them, then try again to get back into your conscious routine. Keep these tips in the back of your mind while shopping over the next few months and help ensure every purchase you make leaves a positive impact on our planet.