Instead of reverting to that mindless zombie you become every December, as you shop for the usual lot of presents, consisting of “stuff” and “things”, why don’t you give you’re present-buying some actual thought.
After the events of the Rana Plaza Collapse in 2013, the western worlds’ eyes were open to the slave-like condition Bangladesh workers were under producing clothes for popular Australian labels. Now the general public is trying to make a difference.
University of Sydney academic Lisa Heinze says,”In the past couple of years there has been a real shift among mainstream consumers wanting to make a difference”.
“A lot of people noticed [worker exploitation] who hadn’t been paying attention before. The campaigns have continued … [there is] pressure on mainstream brands to act which helps the customer even more.”
Shopping “ethically” over Christmas doesn’t mean you have to go all out and start lecturing your family on how you’re going to be wrapping your presents with cloth and buying free range ham (because let’s face it, you’ll damper the festive spirit).
Just be mindful of your purchases, get gifts that are useful and from ethical sources. People have too much stuff; they don’t need any more.
Therefore, here are some tips on how to be mindful when you’re Christmas shopping this time ‘round:
- Start Early:
Getting your Christmas shopping over and done with not only releases a huge weight off your shoulders, but it’ll give you time to find the perfect gift that has meaning behind it. You don’t want to find yourself once again rushing around the packed shopping center on Christmas Eve, grabbing gifts that won’t be appreciated. Heinze believes there is more interest this year in the “search for authenticity”, among the general population.
- Pick one issue:
While you may have a sudden passion for being ethical, don’t go overboard. Choose one issue to focus on and stick with it. You can do you’re part just as well that way.
- Go to a Market
It’s fresh, it’s local and it has a story. You know you’re shopping ethically when you’re literally buying from the maker. There is a far greater acceptance and enthusiasm now for handmade gifts according to Ceramicist Chela Edmunds of Takeawei .
- “Good on you”
If women’s fashion is your next stop, make sure you’re buying your mum or sister good, sustainable fashion. Download the Good On You app for your guide to knowing that whatever clothing you are buying is coming from a reliable source. It rates more than 1000 clothing labels for you.
- Help rebuild the rainforest
If you buy from The Body Shop you will be contributing towards its re-forestation programs throughout the world. Check out it’s gift range specifically aimed at helping the rainforest.