How do you choose to spend your money when buying tangible things?
I have been thinking about this a lot this week, in large part due to the Handmade Pledge being promoted for American Craft Week. Even though this particular pledge focuses on handmade, it is part of a larger movement to be more conscientious when buying things.
Being conscientious. What does that mean to you?
I also saw a post this week that talked about the fact that campaigns like the Handmade Pledge do little to change the habits of the typical person. People need to have a reason to change their behavior. They need to know why they are changing their behavior. There has to be a catalyst for change.
What would be your catalyst for change?
Or what about all the countless faces of children laboring to make the cheap products that overfill our stores? Conversely, what about all the countless faces of those artisans in our country and abroad that create a story along with their products? What story stirs your soul?
This is not rhetoric, I really want to know. What factors go in to the decision making process? Are you impulsive? Do you research brands, companies, boutiques before buying? Does price play a big part? Do you buy a lot, a little, or somewhere in between?
I try very hard to be conscientious of what I am buying. To me that means that a product was made ethically, with people and the environment in mind. But I have to admit that there are things that can get in the way of me making a conscientious purchase. I have compromised my principles for price, look, convenience, or plain impulsivity. I have bought something with little thought as to where it was made and I have bought things from companies that I know make poor decisions when it comes to human and environmental rights.
I also know that I will not be able to buy everything handmade and/or local and that isn’t the answer to the world’s ills, but if we could all start with one gift this year. I believe it could make a huge difference. Just one. Can you do it?
It is so easy to forget that there are consequences to our actions, particularly when those consequences seem to be so far removed from our own daily lives and struggles. So, are people inherently selfish? Soulless consumerists always wanting more for less? I am starting to wonder…
What will change our way of thinking?