Social Responsibility has become more important over the years. Increased globalization to reduce production costs in the Western world has resulted in cutting corners. Several brands have been called out for human exploitation – including child labor and sweatshops. Many companies, especially those using drop shipping, are not even aware of how their products are manufactured. Today, 218 million children between 5 and 17 years are in employment. Around 7 million of them work in hazardous conditions. The world is changing and many larger brands are recognizing the importance of ethically sourcing products, but many still have a long way to go.
Ethical shopping is not limited to anti-human exploitation. It is defined as purchasing items which have caused no harm nor exploitation to humans, animals or the natural environment. We need to be aware of the impact our shopping habits can have on the worlds around us. It’s important to protect this world for future generations. Becoming a more socially conscious consumer may seem overwhelming, but we can all take small steps to lessen our impact on the planet. Vote with your dollar. Purchase items that you believe have a positive impact. Avoid (where possible), purchasing items that you know have a negative impact or are purely focused on driving profit.
DECIDE WHICH ELEMENTS OF SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY ARE IMPORTANT TO YOU
Determine your personal priorities to guide your search. You may be more concerned about human exploitation, animal testing or the environment. You do not have to choose just one, but taking small steps and determining your biggest concerns may help decide where t shop. Many brands still have a long way to go, but choose brands you know are aiming to make a positive influence on the world and that support the causes you care about.
DISCOVER WHAT THE BRAND SAYS ABOUT SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
You can quickly learn about any brand by simply visiting their website. Navigate to the ‘About’ section or FAQ page to learn more about the brand. Look for anything related to sustainability or social responsibility. You will be able to determine whether it is something important to the brand. When a brand is clear about their practices, this implies that they are somewhere you can trust. Carthage has an about page which explains how we support our Tunisian employees. Take a look!
CHECK FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY CERTIFICATIONS OR MEMBERSHIPS
There many organizations out there that certify ethical brands or products and some of them also offer membership to brands that keep to some principles. I want to make it clear that a brand can be ethical without being certified fair trade or a certified B-corporation but it is a good place to check!. If any of these organizations endorse a brand, you will find the certification on their website or logo. You might also find this information in their about section, footer or something similar.
ASK FOR MORE INFORMATION
Ask! It’s as simple as that. If you can’t find the information you are looking for about a particular brand, send them an email, message them on social media or call them to ask. Brands who respond positively will give a clear indication of whether the brand is genuinely committed to the values you care about.
GIVE YOURSELF TIME TO UNDERSTAND ETHICAL SHOPPING
As a beginner, doing your research can be overwhelming. Take the time to become familiar with the process and discover what small steps you can do to help. When we make just one small change, it exponentially makes an impact. Choose particular brands you feel confident about and start there. Your purchases may not be perfect at first, but with time you will surely improve.
Carthage.co is focused on social responsibility. You can rest assured that our stoneware is ethically sourced, created, and imported from North Africa. We’re proud to work with local manufacturers that employ and empower their communities with dignity and equity. Check out our products here.