Ethical shopping has been on my mind a lot lately. I’m more and more concerned with the chain of creation when it comes to how I clothe and feed myself. Who is really profiting when I buy clothes? Which companies am I supporting with my tortilla chip addiction?
But of course, first and foremost I want to stick to my budget. I’ve set ambitious savings and investing goals for myself this year, and to meet them means I need to stick to my budget.
‘What a pickle you’re in Kara,’ you may be thinking to yourself right about now. Ethical shopping is hard to do, expensive, and certainly not for the frugal among us.
Nay, dear reader. Nay. If ya girl is good at one thing, it’s scouring the internet for hours looking for ways to save money and make my life easier. Easier means more time for trash tv shows on Netflix, which is a dear past time for me.
Let me show you how I make ethical shopping easier for myself.
Utilize The Internet
The internet is an amazing place, full of riches and wonder and browser extensions. I was late to the game with browser extensions and it is a huge regret. Now I have several that I use every day, and there’s a new one that helps make ethical shopping easier.
Miigle Plus is a free browser extension that makes it easier for you to find and shop ethical brands. It is literally the easiest thing in the world: you download the extension, which takes all of 5 seconds, and then use it to shop for things you need.
Companies on the app have been vetted beforehand, eliminating the need for you to spend your time digging into a company’s background. You can learn about the company’s right then and there, and choose to support the ones that you gravitate too. You can even add your own brand, or search the brand directory to find more ethical brands.
Easy-peasy. Miigle+ is a start-up, so you can choose to support them using the extension they’ve already put out, or to donate to their Indigogo page where they’re fundraising to create an app.
It’s a joke, but there is an app for everything today. And there should be more apps for ethical shopping! Apps make my life easier every day, and I support the idea of making ethical fashion more accessible and easier to do for all.
Common advice in the finance world is to automate your savings. It eliminates the work of manually moving money to savings and is an easy way to consistently save the same amount of money each month.
The same thought can apply to shopping ethically. If you find a brand that you like and is made ethically, save that ish! Bookmark their website, follow them on social, or put them on your shopping list on your refrigerator.
Take the extra footwork out of shopping as often as possible. That’s why we all love apps and tools right? They simplify things for us. Be your own app and note when you find something you love.
Shop based On Your Needs
One of the biggest problems with ethical shopping of any kind is that shopping has morphed into a pastime. It’s something we do when we’re bored, or when we feel badly and want to get a retail high.
Shopping based on your needs and not just your whims and wants is a fairly radical thought. But it is the single best way to stick to your budget and to support ethically made things for two big reasons:
If you’re spending less money all the time, you’ll be able to save bigger chunks of money for those ‘investment’ pieces that have a higher price tag
You’ll spend less money in general by plugging up wasteful spending habits in your life.
So simple and yet so effective! Simply buying fewer, better made things is the best way to save yourself money and build a life that is well made and ethically sourced.
David Cain of Raptitude recently wrote a piece called ‘We Are Not Materialistic Enough,’ which spoke to the same point. We buy a lot of poorly made stuff, which we then have to replace over and over again.
Instead, take your time and buy well made things that you truly need and that align with your values. Stop using shopping as a way to pass time or a band aid for your feelings, and use it as a means to an end.
This will make shopping easier because you’re cutting out the noise surrounding it. You won’t waste your time scrolling through page after page of stuff online, or reading emails about sales on things you don’t need. You can cut out companies that are sketchy because you won’t need to shop there anymore. It’s a radical simplifying of your shopping approach, and it will make ethically shopping easier.
How do you shop ethically? How do you support brands you love? I’m always curious to hear how others are doing this same thing!
This post was sponsored by Miigle+. Consider donating to their Indiegogo campaign here!