some things cost more than you realize…

hit: K.At

I know there are others out there, but may I throw Blackspot shoes into the sugguestions for fair trade shoes. Or better yet, go barefoot.

Sometimes, especially when we’re trying to not spend as much, it’s easy to make decisions based on price and not on the real cost of the product. How much environmental damage does the product come with from it’s production/shipping/etc? What is the cost to the oppressed around the world? Is this product somehow causing oppression, violence, family instability, environmental damage, or injustice? We forget to look at the hidden costs our goods are accruing and mistakenly think our inexpensive product is actually the least costly. Our economy is set up in a way that the price tag rarely matches the actual cost of a product, if you take the ‘hidden’ costs into account (which are only actually hidden to those of us privileged enough to keep ourselves from being exposed to the ‘dark side’ of our products).

A few thoughts on shopping, then:

1) it’s always better to buy nothing, rather than something. No matter how good, or just, the product is, it’s better not to buy anything at all, if you want to make the least impact

2) do your research- organic? fair trade? where does it come from and who makes/grows it? who’s winning and who’s losing when it comes to this product? Are there local alternatives to supporting multinational corporations in your purchases? Money votes- who are your purchases supporting?

3) Buy less overall, but spend more to buy just and quality products (the longer something lasts the less impact it will have on the environment- both in not needing to produce another one and not needing to throw it away) or, if you don’t want to spend more, then buy used and give a product a new life (or dumpster-dive it)

4) Be willing to make some personal sacrifices- you may want it, but is that purchase really worth it?

And finally, I recommend reading No Logo by Naomi Klien. It’s been out for a long time, so you can most likely find it at a used bookstore, or better yet, the library.

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