Shopping ethically handmade means you’re putting your money towards companies who have sustainable and transparent practices when it comes to sourcing materials and employing artisans. This form of shopping is becoming increasingly popular and a great way to support communities and individual artisans, as well as feel confident in what you’re buying. Here’s your insider’s guide to shopping ethically handmade for tips and tricks for getting the most out of supporting sustainable businesses.
Start your shopping process with some research. Knowing the basics about how materials are sourced and produced, who made it and the pricing practices of a company are important to get a general feel for what the company is all about. Additionally, make sure to take a look at customer reviews and recommendations before deciding on any purchase.
Find small, sustainable businesses and handmade shops. These small businesses have unique items made with care and often have artisans directly involved in creating them. Shopping small and local can have huge positive impacts and create direct connections with the makers.
Invest in quality over quantity. Spending a bit more on an item may make all the difference. Look for sustainable materials, upcycled materials, ethically-sourced fibers and recycled materials to know you’re getting a high quality, eco-friendly item.
Finally, if you’re in doubt about where a product was sourced or created, always ask! Sustainable businesses will usually have a lot of information available online but don’t hesitate to reach out to the owners and makers for clarification. The same goes for finding out what a company does with leftover scraps of material or deadstock fabrics and threads - most sustainable businesses are transparent about their processes and are happy to discuss their policies.
Ethical and sustainable shopping can make a huge difference to support artisans and small businesses and lessen our collective impact on the environment. With these tips in hand, happy ethical shopping!