What is ethical consumption?
To me, ethical consumption is about more than shopping. It’s a lifestyle that requires thoughtfulness about our needs and wants. First and foremost, it means consuming less: streamlining and minimizing our purchases. Second, when I do shop, I try to shop second hand or fair trade. I demand transparency by asking how and where my products were made. If a store doesn’t have answers, I take my business elsewhere. Ultimately, I just want to buy things that look good and make me feel good, without hurting others or the environment.
Where do you shop?
When I moved from New York City to Nashville, I thought my options for shopping ethically would be much more limited. In fact, I have plenty of options. I try to get my produce from our farmers’ market. When I can’t, I shop at our organic market or in the organic section of my grocery store, where they even have a decent fair-trade selection.
Nashville has a lot of great clothing and home goods stores that carry products from local artisans. A few of my favorites are: Local Honey, Consider the Wldflwrs, Nisolo, Red Earth Trading Company, and Sisters of Nature.
There are also plenty of online shops specializing in fair trade and sustainable goods. Check out my shopping page for recommendations.