It’s important to note that often, businesses get away with just how much they feel they can. Every year, many corporations and businesses of all sizes take to the drawing board to see how they can cut costs and increase positive cash flow and revenue. You may have opinions on if eternal economic growth is possible or sustainable, but for now, this is the model in which many businesses operate, all vying for market share.
This means that while you can often feel disempowered as a consumer, as a node of purchasing power you do have a say, and you do have a vote to cast with every purchase you make. This means that if more people supported the business practices they wished to see, the business environment would be a great deal better. Look at how countries such as Belgium and the United Kingdom are leading the charge taking a stand against microtransactions and predatory gambling practices within modern video games. As a new-ish industry, the growing pains of regulation and holding certain corporations to task is a practice that is gaining popularity.
However, here’s how you, as a smaller point of purchasing power, can support the practices you personally wish to see:
Substantiate Your Purchases
You may enjoy the fact that a company, perhaps a mattress firm, gives away one mattress to a homeless shelter for every fifty sales. This may sound great to you, but have you researched where said mattresses go, or if they are being transparent and evidencing these claims? It could be that this is simply marketing speak, something negated in the terms of the contract. Perhaps they give their lowest, cheapest or refurbished mattresses to said shelters after they have already been used, which perhaps isn’t as terrible except in relation to the promises they make. When you conduct further research, you can become a little more sure in your purchasing approach, such as avoiding fake sunglasses and other low quality products.
Use To You
We often think of the fact that we need to save the world or support charities through our purchasing power, and that’s not a bad impression to have. But don’t be afraid to support businesses that are useful to you in kind. If a business goes over and above, or cares for people in your situation, or simply has a great warranty offering, that might be enough. It’s not about a company being perfect and floating above the rest of us, but caring for consumers. Sometimes, that’s enough of an ethical line to support.
Consider Your Usage
Sometimes, you might be the means in which said practices are developed. For example, if conducting your home shopping online, when it’s delivered you give said shopping bags back to the driver, allowing them to be recycled and earning you the cost of the bags back. Some may not opt for this option in the checkout menu, but you may find a sense of morality in doing so. Ensuring that businesses support alternatives in this spirit may help you avoid disregarding a business entirely, and instead engage with their best possible practices to begin with.
With this advice, you are certain to develop more ethical purchasing habits.
** this is a contributed post. While this post was not written by Amber herself, she has approved it for you and hopes you enjoy it**