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Shopping Ethically - Without Cramping Your Style

Posted on 13 August 2018


Don't Get Hollie & I wrong, we believe that what the mirror has to say is important, but at Urbano Village we're interested in changing the definition of 'beautiful' without compromising on style. 


Since working at Urbano Village, I've become much more aware about what it means to shop ethically. It was a fairly new concept to me when I started, & I'm still learning how best to go about it.


First I had to learn about what 'shopping ethically' was all about. To begin with I just thought that this meant purchasing products that were handmade or had some sort of spiel about 'ethics' on the label. However it's so much more than that!


Shopping ethically can be broken down into three categories:


Positive Buying
The act of purchasing ethical products, being fair trade, eco-friendly, organic or cruelty free. Possibly the most important aspect as it directly supports progressive companies.


Negative Buying
Intentionally avoiding products that aren't ethically produced. For example, battery eggs, or fast fashion.


Company Based Buying
Involves targeting a business as a whole. Generally used in a negative buying direction. For example, boycotting all Nestle brands & subsidiaries in a bid to force the company to change it's irresponsible marketing of baby milk formula, use of child labour & inclusion of palm oil in it's ingredients.


The 'fully screened' approach is combining the above three categories to concisely evaluate which brands are the most ethical overall. These are the brands that we want to shop with.



Now that we know what ethical shopping is ... the question is why should we shop ethically? There are so many good reasons! Some of the top ones are ...


By shopping ethically, we support those who make our products. We can contribute to their economic independence, further their education & give them a sense of self respect.


Until Elon Musk manages to get us to Mars, Earth is the only planet that we have to live on, & we need to take care of it. Shopping ethically means purchasing sustainable products that aren't going to damage our planet for the future generations.


The WWF calculates that at least 10,000 animals species go extinct every year due to human caused habitat destruction & climate change. These numbers are outrageous, & we need to do everything we can to reduce those numbers significantly. Animal extinction is only one side of the coin though ... animal testing is still a huge deal across many industries, & we are all for doing all that we can to eliminate this practice & make life cruelty free for our furry friends.



So now we know the what & the why, we need to figure out the how. To help you along with your ethical shopping path, here are a few ways that you can make a difference.


Fair Trade Organisations



 The World Fair Trade Organisation (or the Fair Traders of Australia (FToA)) label is given to shops who provide safe working conditions, fair pay & a sustainable business model. All their prices are set to reflect the true costs of labour, materials & manufacturing time.


So by purchasing from a shop that displays this label, you are ensuring that the artisans who made the product you're purchasing are well looked after.


Shop Small, Shop Local




Rather than visiting one of the major supermarkets, instead head to a local market or farmers co-op. You'll usually find local produce sold at markets or by the road (in smaller country towns). Bigger cities will often have a famers co-op store, where a group of local famers come together to sell their produce.


Supporting local markets, whether for food or other products, is not only good for the local economy, but for the local seller ... as the money they spend will go back to the local economy. See the circle going round & round?


Digital Ethical Marketplaces




 With a bit of research, digital ethical marketplaces can become your best resource. They are platforms that allow you the consumer to interact directly with the artisan. You will be sure that the money you pay will go directly to the creator of the product, rather than into the pocket of someone else.


Not every artisan chooses to sell directly to the public, which is where businesses like Urbano Village come in. We act as the middleman between the creators & consumers, ensuring that everyone in the transaction gets their due.




Whether shopping for yourself or someone else, keep in mind, that with a little research, ethical shopping isn't so tricky ... it's how true style & beauty start & finish!



By R'chelle Louwen


Shop ethical! Your ethical consumer guide
Travel Fashion Girl


Urbano Photos:
Hannah Puechmarin

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