Welcome to the blog.

Hello, let me take this opportunity to welcome you to the first post of this new blog, thanks for dropping by. Please feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of the page, and tell people about it too. So, what’s the name all about? “The Ethical Shopper”. Well to be honest I’m not totally happy with it, but I think it’s going to grow on me! It’s the best way I can describe what I hope to achieve through writing this blog, to become an “Ethical Shopper”. To me this means being able to have access to information which allows me to make informed choices about the products I buy and who I buy them from.

There are many factors we consider when making a purchase, and not all purchases are equal! Ranging from possibly the largest purchase any one of us will make, a house, right down to a quick sandwich grabbed in the hour/45 minutes/half an hour we have for lunch (delete as appropriate). Every time we spend money it has an impact, on the vendor, on the producer or manufacturer and on our bank balance. The choices that we make can impact people we may never meet for better or worse.

So why buy ethically? Well, I believe that we have a responsibility to our community, society and the world we inhabit to make informed decisions about what we buy. We have reached a point where it’s very obvious that we can no longer just do what we want and everything will be fine. There are famines in Somalia whilst in Europe we produce so much food we have to throw half of it away. Up to 21 million humans are used for slave labour, some to produce goods that are sold in high street shops. Companies subcontract to companies who subcontract once more leaving very little control over the conditions of many workers.

I believe that in our choices lies the power to change the world. Really, I do. Companies are after our money, as long as we keep giving them it there is very little incentive for them to change. Only when we show them that we’re not prepared to put up with modern day slavery, poor working conditions and disregard for the environment will they get the message.

I do realise however that this is not always a black and white issue. I’m not telling you who and who not to buy from, I simply want to share with you the information that I find out so that we can all make better choices. I hope you will find this useful and do please share with me any stories or experiences you have about shopping ethically.

Oh, and my name’s Thom by the way, just in case it’s important…

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2 responses to “Welcome to the blog.”

  1. EverythingEthics says :

    Hi Thom, I think that there’s always going to be things that get in the way such as the factors of price, time, and convenience when a consumer makes a purchase. For example, if I went to go grab a cup of coffee, i’d more than likely think – ‘Starbucks’ because I’ve got positive associations with the brand, I can always find one, and I always associate it with fair trade – even though it’s not 100% fair trade! What do you think could change consumers’ minds in the future to be more ethically conscious of the decisions they make?

    Josh

    http://everythingethics.wordpress.com/2012/10/28/animal-behaviour/

    • theethicalshopper says :

      Hi Josh, thanks for your question. I think Changing mindsets is a slow process and you have to be clear about why you think people should be making different choices from the ones they make currently. Starbucks is a really good example. They’ve invested a lot of money in showing people that they are the ethical and friendly choice when it comes to coffee, and there is one on nearly every corner. I think people need to understand the impact of taking their trade to local businesses. I know that Sbux provides a lot of jobs in the UK which is great, I’m a former employee myself, but I believe that what we’re seeing at the moment with questions about tax is that local independent business may contribute more fairly to the economy. With price coffee is actually quite an easy one as most independent coffee shops are cheaper than the main brands, people might just need to take an extra 5 minutes to get there! I think it comes down to helping people understand the different options they have when it comes to spending their money, then letting them decide.

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