Do One Person's Shopping Choices Actually Make a Difference?
The beast of "fast fashion" has been created over decades and is fed by millions of consumers everyday. Does one person's decision to stop contributing to that system actually make a difference? Why should you suffer the inconvenience of higher prices if there are still sweatshops pumping out merchandise everyday?
This sort of hopelessness discourages people from putting effort into changing their habits. It's tempting to turn our heads away from the mountain of injustice rather than climb the uphill path towards a better world.
So is it worth it?
Can your dollars make a difference if your neighbor's dollars are flowing in the opposite direction?
It's easy to think about the goals of the ethical fashion movement in big picture terms: every sweatshop being closed, every worker being paid a fair wage, no more forced-labor, the mall being full of stores that represent healthy working conditions... These are all wonderful goals and the thought of them pushes me to keep advocating for justice.
Even if I never live to see the full reconciliation of this industry, I can sleep at night knowing that I am making a difference.
And so can you.
When you look at the looming mountain of injustice in this industry, it's easy to think there's no way your purchase can tear it down.
In some ways that's true.
A purchase from a "good company" will not put a "bad company" out of business.
Every time you spend your money to support a brand that treats people well, you are choosing to place another brick on the foundation of a better fashion industry instead of adding to the mass of the fast-fashion-mountain.
Instead of seeing your efforts as weak attempts to tear down a mountain, realize you are part of building something positive that is already making an impact in the world.
A purchase from a "good company" will create a demand for more "good companies."
You are funding fair jobs for people around the world when you shop ethically. You are building the foundation for a beautiful, empowering industry that grows stronger with each person that chooses to support it. Ask any ethical business owner, and I guarantee they'll tell you your purchase matters.
Keep up your efforts. Keep adding bricks. Keep refusing to default to the looming mountain.
Someday the mountain may crumble with the help of workplace legislation or a change in heart of major corporations... maybe. But I don't want to wait for that.
I want to make a difference now.
I want to keep building up the movement that is already changing lives of people I'll probably never meet.
Will you join me?