As a consumer, your choices are so impactful that you can promote social justice when you shop.
We make thousands of choices every day. And many of those choices are about where and how to buy our everyday essentials such as food, clothing, household items, wellness products, and more.
As consumers, our dollar votes are always voting for something. It’s a powerful privilege to be able to choose what values we promote and who we empower through our shopping choices.
But while good intentions are a start, effectively taking a stand for social justice through our dollar votes isn’t always so simple.
Driving positive social change as a consumer starts with doing your research.
- What do the brands you buy from stand for?
- Can these brands back up their sentiments with action, data, and results?
- If not, what alternatives are available that do make a tangible impact towards social justice?
As you research your favorite brands or look for brands that better align with your values, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
- Look for brands that promote diversity in the workplace and follow through with it in their hiring choices. You can usually find this information in the company’s annual impact report.
- Try to make sure the brands you support care about social justice along each step of their supply chains. Does the company publish information about the factory workers, farmers, and other people who make up the product’s supply chain?
- Do the brands you buy from do more than just say the right things? Much like green-washing, many big brands practice “woke-washing” – through which they make their efforts to promote social justice sound better than they actually are.
- Shop from B-Corps whenever possible and look for certifications from the FBA and the Fair Trade Federation. Looking for the USDA-certified organic label can also help you support practices that respect and protect people, animals, and the planet.
- Overall, consider the transparency of the brands you shop from. Publishing data that backs up a brand’s claims takes work and integrity, so it’s a good sign when you see a brand doing the work to help its customers make informed decisions.
Remember that while these choices might seem small, when you choose companies that are taking action to promote social justice, you’re part of the collective movement to make a big impact for good.