Being a Mindful Consumer

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Everyone in America is some type of consumer. The economy depends on it, whether one is contributing to a small business or a large corporation. Americans often seem to pour their hard earned pay checks into businesses they may know nothing about. Although all companies have faults, it is important to be investing in ones that make a positive difference.

More and more companies are joining the movement of charitable partnerships. One of the more well known and longer standing companies in Toms. Toms’ mission is “One for One”. This message is plastered over their website, boxes and marketing. Although this may be a marketing tactic, their giving is really making a difference. Toms partners with many charities and in many fields of giving, but it all began with giving shoes. When a pair was purchased by a consumer, a pair was given. When this proved to be both charitable and profitable, the giving expanded. Soon Toms was able to work with people across the globe, giving financial and medical assistance to Honduras, India, China, and the United States. It also It also raises awareness and funds training to improve safe birthing, clean water and limiting bullying. A wide array of good is being done by purchasing a pair of shoes.

It’s not just Toms making a change. Businesses across the country (and world) are doing the same. The clothing company Sudara donates and supports organizations to train women and create jobs. The Sudara Freedom Fund mainly focuses on the population of women in India who are “at risk or survivors of sex trafficking”.

Indian women sewing at a Sudara partner center (Image via Sudara.org)

A small sock company based online has created a big impact by supporting a wide variety of causes, appealing to a larger market and bringing in more revenue. The Conscious Step partners with organizations like Malaria No More, UNAIDS, and Water.org to support their missions. The Conscious Step website tracks their progress in these areas and shows customers the impact of their purchases.

Companies are also becoming more mindful of sustainability. Hiptipico artisan shop is a great example. They provide transparency on their employment, manufacturing methods, and waste. There are also sustainable hand soap companies and sock sellers making a difference.

Being consumers, Americans have a lot of power and a lot of responsibility. By being informed, they can spend their money more meaningfully. And putting a paycheck somewhere you know it will make a difference is the best way to spend money.

Featured Image via Hiptipico.com

About the author

Kendall Sommers is a freshman day student from Southborough, Massachusetts. She runs cross-country and will be trying squash and crew this year. She is also a tour guide and participates in Students for Sustainability, GSA and St. Marguerite's Partnership. She loves trying new types of writing, painting and playing with her two dogs. Kendall’s favorite thing to do is volunteer at Special Olympics and work with kids. She can’t wait to be a part of the Parkman Post and find a voice in her community.

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