Let's make dang sure that our Christmas festivities and gifts this year don't come at the expense of someone else. Deal?
I have been getting increasingly riled up about socially responsible products and businesses. It all boils down like this for me: it should be unfathomable for us to buy a product that came at some expense of another human being.
This topic really gets my brain turning and my heart churning. And since we all are a part of this ugly consumerism spiral I don't want to hear that you aren't interested.
Every single day you make a choice with your dollar. I am slowly realizing I can back the socially responsible, humanitarian, sustainable, and just companies of the world. OR...the one with dark secrets of child-labor, sweat shops, and harmful business practices.
No thanks, man!
I cringe to think that I have ever bought a single product a little girl my niece's age might have labored over...or that my cheap shirt came at the expense of a family going hungry. But Lord forgive me and change me-give me a new heart that desires to be left unstained from this filthy world. It's a daunting and enormously scary task to figure out how to do this consumer thing right but I think with a lot of the Holy Spirit's leading and little education we can.
The main deal here is simple. It's been on my heart for several months to begin shopping with a conscience. To pick stores and retailers who do business right. Never at the expense of any child or adult's fair wage, well-being, or safety and always in the name of justice, truth, and sustainability.
It's not as hard as I thought and this Christmas Ryan and I gave our business to places we could verify. I spent no more than 10 minutes researching business practices, looking up how they run things, and making decisions from there
Claiming no expertise, just passion, here is my first annual thoughts on gift buying and...
How to Have a Non-Sketchy Christmas
*Shop Local: Farmer's Markets or Craft Fairs often sell personally made beautiful soaps, baskets, jewelry, body products, clothing, and tasty treats
*Our favorite responsible retailers to support are REI, Whole Foods, Vitamin Cottage, Avodah Coffee, Chaco, Shabby Apple, North Face, Celestial Seasonings, and Mountain Rose Herbs just to name a few
*Support personal Etsy shops where items are handmade by the owners
*Order gifts from a non-profit with a mission-Agape International's store is one of my favorites
*Consider hand-making gifts from sustainable products
*Or donate as a family through World Vision's gift catalog or Healing Waters gift catalog to give a life changing gift!
P.S. In an admittedly weak attempt to take the moral high ground and not even mention a little place that rhymes with Fall-schmart...my only advice is to just avoid that hell-stricken place at all costs. You might just die of shock right here if I shared what I read about said business and I need you to stay alive for the rest of this post! Another post for another time...
Sum up: Your choices are not limited when it comes to shopping with conscience this year and all year. Your voice, your dollar, your choices all add up for this year's Christmas and someone else's life . Make the simple choice of responsibility and compassion-one that I know Jesus himself would dig.
So here's to justice and truth this Christmas! And knowing that in all humility I admit not knowing how to do this best. That's no surprise right?
Share your sustainable, ethical, people-loving companies and ideas here! I'll publish anything (legit) you have to say or suggest.
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.