WHAT IS HOLISTIC CONSUMERISM?
Consumerism is the belief that it is good for people to spend a lot of money on goods and services for the promotion of the consumer's interests. The problem with traditional consumerism is that it teaches us to be one-sided.
Holistic Consumerism is a call for people to be responsible, caring consumers. It is important to not only take your needs, preferences and well-being into consideration, but to also consider everyone involved in the supply chain of the product you are purchasing.
The ratio of labor trafficking to sex trafficking is 9:1 worldwide. 1 Even though labor trafficking isn’t as highlighted as the latter, this is not an issue that can be ignored. When we choose to buy products without researching the supply chain, we take a huge risk in supporting unethical business practices around the world. When faced with the option of buying a cheaper, questionably made product or a more expensive, ethically made product, I believe it is our moral obligation to support integrity. We must change the consumer tide from enslavement to empowerment - and consumers hold the key to change.
Holistic Consumerism can be achieved when we follow certain principles. These not only increase our livelihood, but they also increase the livelihood of others. These principles reduce the exploitation of people and ensure nourishment for our bodies and the planet.
* Unfortunately, there are some industries where there currently are not any viable alternatives, such as technology/electronics. I continue to pray that one day there will be ethical options available. I do not and cannot expect that you can shop ethically 100% of the time. The goal is for there to be a radical change in your heart towards your consumer choices.
Both of these labels imply that employees are receiving a fair wage for their work. Whether it’s cotton, coffee, sugar, tea, chocolate or produce, you can feel good knowing that their supply chains have been monitored and a system or relationship has been put into place to ensure fair treatment and wages of those working to produce the product. While neither system is perfect, it's the best that currently exists.
No matter the industry, I believe that organic is always better. Organic brings about the notion that the producer truly cares about the quality of the product. Organic food is better for your health and for the environment. It allows for more nutritional value while excluding the use of pesticides and other chemicals. It also lessens the risk of exploitation in the supply chain since there is more monitoring and accountability required to hold the certification.
When possible, buy locally made products. You are supporting the local economy and talents of farmers, artisans, etc in your community. Through these direct relationships, you are also able to ask questions about their supply chain and the integrity of their products
Living in an earth-friendly fashion means you're exposed to less harmful chemicals and more natural, safe alternatives. It's much better for the environment and your overall health. Plus, most cleaning products contain palm oil which is mainly cultivated using a trafficked workforce. When you have less ingredients to read through (and ones you can actually understand), it's easier to spot an item like that.
GET STARTED NOW!
An easy first step is to download these apps. They are great to reference when you're shopping. And the best part is that the research has already been done for you!
- Free2Work - Developed by the Not For Sale team, this app gives major corporations a grade (A+ to F) based on 4 areas of business: Policies, Transparency, Monitoring, Workers Rights. More information can be found on the Free2Work website or the App Store on your phone.
- Good Guide - This app rates products and companies on a 0-10 scale for their health, environmental, and social impact. More information can be found on the Good Guide website or the App Store on your phone.
- Food Scores - Produced by EWG, this app, in conjunction with its Food Scores website, was created to help consumers make healthier, greener food choices.