Ethical Shopping: It Gets Better

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Ethical Shopping: It Gets Better

This guest post is brought to you by Julie Overby of bonJOY Box.

These days, if you’re willing to put in a tiny bit of effort, moving your purchases out of the (big) box and into the ethical space is easier than ever. More and more people are realizing the importance of fair trade, sustainable packaging, and environmental awareness (not to mention healthy products), and as they do, clever little brands are popping up to meet those demands.

What I love about being in the ethical consumer-goods space is connecting with the people behind these brands  people who are taking what they know and making a dream happen. Every single one of them has heart. They put in tremendous amounts of work to pull a profit, but they’re not just in it for the money; they’re consciously trying to make a difference in the world, and most of all, for the people who make the goods they sell. 

Perhaps it stands to reason then that my other favorite thing is introducing my network to the do-good brands and products I discover. It brings me such joy to tell the stories behind the pieces I’ve purchased! I guess I’m just a nerd about celebrating people who are stepping out with a lot of courage and making beautiful things. 

Speaking of beautiful things…you may have noticed, but fair trade doesn’t look so “fair trade” anymore. Not to get down on the pioneers of the movement in any way, but you know  there’s a look. Today’s fair trade is disguised as luxe fashion, on-trend jewelry with precious metals, and home goods that can rival any you’d find at Target. 

So here’s how you can start discovering this new horizon in do-good goods: 

1. Find an ethical marketplace. 

107 Market StreetBought Beautifully,New CreationTo The Market…there are a growing number of these marketplaces and if you pay attention to the brands they feature, you’ll find yourself quickly falling in love with a new favorite.

2. Stalk a brand you love… 

…and find who they’ve followed on Twitter and Instagram. Chances are you’ll make some amazing discoveries! Twitter is a surprisingly great tool at suggesting similar brands once you’ve followed one. Some of my favorites that would make a great place to start:EleganteesMulxiplyUNCVRDBadalaProsperity CandleRooted BeautyRaven+LilyHope SoapThistle Farms…you better just cut me off right there. 

3. Try a subscription box.

Full disclosure here: I helped get a box off the ground with a fellow anti-trafficking advocate, so take the following words with the appropriate grain of salt (I prefer pink himalayan sea salt, if you please): bonJOY IS THE MOST AMAZING SUBSCRIPTION BOX OF ALL TIME. I mean, it’s pretty great.

Most of the brands we feature each quarter are specifically invested in the fight against trafficking, whether providing employment for at-risk women or helping fund survivor care. You can see what we’ve featured in recent boxes here and here…oh and here.

In all fairness (and seriously, there’s no competition in our world…we’re all in it for the good!), there are several other great boxes happening in this space: Purpose Box, which funds a specific cause each go-round, CAUSEBOX by SevenlyFair Trade FridayFair TreasureGlobeIn, and I’m sure we’ll be seeing more pop up soon.

So, happy shopping! A personal challenge from me to you is to move all your Christmas shopping over to ethical suppliers. It’s completely doable, totally joyful, and doubly rewarding. You can do it. Let’s change the world, okay?

Julie is the co-founder and marketing & innovation director over at bonJOY, a fashion, beauty, and living subscription box. She’s a freelance copywriter, designer, and full-time dreamer who keeps her feet on the ground by making a home for her husband and little one. Julie lives in Colorado and always loves making a great connection: 

Julie and I swapped posts this week. See my Ethical Gift Guide on the bonJOY blog!

Leah Wise

Leah Wise is the founder of StyleWise Blog. She has been writing, speaking, and consulting on sustainable fashion, the fair trade and secondhand supply chain, and digital marketing for over ten years. An Episcopal priest, Leah holds a B.A. in Religion from Florida State University and an M.Div. from Yale Divinity School. When not working, you can find her looking for treasures at the thrift store.

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