The money we spend daily speaks volumes, and every purchase matters.

I’m thankful that I am usually able to be a little picky about some of the things I buy. I understand that not every one can afford to do that, and I certainly haven’t always been able to. Sometimes I still can’t. Sometimes I have student loans to pay and have to eat a lot of peanut butter sandwiches, but for me, right now (and hopefully for always), shopping ethically is important. It comes down to making choices. When I can, I support local business. When local is not an option, I do some research (check out Good Guide) to figure out my options. Sometimes, shopping fair trade involves some planning; sometimes, it involves some digging. You have to do what’s right for you. Decide what’s important to you, and make an effort to do it. It all comes down to the little choices we make every day. Do what makes you feel good. Do good.

  • Buy local: support local farmers, artisans, and businesses.
  • Research: know brands, compare prices, find alternatives; learn about the work that goes into the products you buy most.
  • Buy fair trade when you’re able.
  • Say no to companies with poor business practices, or values you can’t get behind. Be on the lookout for non-existent or vague information regarding the subjects you care about. And just because a business is honest doesn’t mean you have to support them. Maybe they don’t share your values. It is totally okay to move on! I recently ordered from a clothing company that I wanted to support, but their customer service was so wretched that I will probably never buy from them again! Find your balance.
  • Make things last.
  • Be kind, be patient, be understanding.
  • Engage! If you find something you love, share it with the people you love!

As for the last part, here are a couple of my favorite favorite fair trade/handcrafted treats:

♥ Check out: Maine Made // NH Made // Vermont Made if you’re in northern New England

Additional resources: going local v. fair trade infographic via Ethical Ocean / How to Shop Ethically at Chain Stores via Stylewise

More on girldust: some favorite online shops / ethical underthings


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