Mindful Shopping

by Rona Berg

The days after Thanksgiving have become iconic shopping days. Conspicuous consumption--and massive sales--are at an all-time high, starting late on Thanksgiving Day, and continuing through Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Shopping Sunday and Cyber Monday, which promises to be especially popular this season. 

Now is the perfect time to take a more mindful approach to your purchasing power. Of course many of us will be shopping online, and why not choose Small Business Saturday as an opportunity to support local businesses and restaurants, especially when there will certainly be great deals out there? 

Supporting small, independent local businesses is also a way to give back to yourself, by keeping your community viable. Consider a gift certificate to your favorite restaurant. Or making that big purchase you’ve been thinking about for a while? Invest in an organic food delivery service, like tktk? Or simply shop on sites that do good. 

We’ve also assembled a group of online shops that feature ethical and sustainable products, with many handmade and Fair Trade. Some seek out brands that are zero waste, B corp, artisan-driven and more. 

There’s never been a better time to shop your values and have your dollars truly help communities in need. Here are a few of our favorites. 

Ten Thousand Villages has been around for decades, and is a pioneer in supporting Fair Trade and the work of over 20K artisans in over 30 countries. Ten Thousand Villages features jewelry, home goods, accessories and more, and features the story of each artisan on the site. 

Sam & Lance An online marketplace that features Fair Trade, women-made, zero-waste and vegani products--every item satisfies at least one of these criteria. 

The mission is “to establish a global community of socially conscious women,” and the company works with 100 percent women suppliers, 51 percent of whom are BIPOC. And, a tree is planted for every order placed. 

Our Commonplace This pretty site features ethical and sustainable goods--fashion, beauty and wellness, home--from around the world. ourCommonplace seeks out brands that employ workers according to Fair Trade principles, support BIPOC-owned businesses and use materials that do not harm the planet.

The Little Market Designer Lauren Conrad (of The Hills fame) co-founded this non-profit, with aim to empower women artisans in developing countries. The Little Market shares info about the collectives they source from, and follows fair trade principles. The artisans create a range of beautiful and useful things that come from Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Morocco and more. 

Story photo provided by ourcommonplace.co

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