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A Merry, Ethical Christmas

November 22, 2017

Dorsu | Ethical Christmas | Shopping

As we approach this joyful holiday season, we are taking the time to sit back, relax and consider how our gift buying may impact our world and its people.

We are all for Christmas and sharing gifts with our loved ones - but in the midst of global patterns of excessive shopping and over-consumption, it’s important to consider how much we need to participate and how much we can just let go. Do we really need to buy that gift for our work colleague just in case they buy us a gift? Do we really need to stuff Christmas stockings with not-so-needed things just because the ‘stocking filler’ shelf at the store had some bargains?

When we venture out shopping this season, we are going to ask ourselves these quick questions before we head to the checkout:

  1. Where was this product made, how, and what impact does it have?
  2. Is there accessible, transparent information about this brand and product available to consumers?
  3. Does buying this product have a negative effect on the world, either through it’s production or end-use?
  4. Does the person receiving this really need it- will they actually use it, appreciate it and look after it?
  5. Is there something else I can do instead- can I make it myself, can I buy this from an ethical brand, would they prefer tickets to a movie or a dinner out?

If you take a moment to think about these questions and you are confident your answer is 'yes' to purchasing, then that’s great, you are making a conscious, informed decision to buy a product that is useful to it’s receiver and (hopefully) has little or no impact on the world. If your answers lean towards a 'no' to purchasing, then you are making some pretty big steps to buying better this Christmas (and beyond)!

Here are a few of our favourite tips, collated to help out with buying better this Christmas AND all year round.

Get informed

Research brands and products, reach out to them directly or search them on the internet. Use blogs, articles, brand rating guides and a company’s own website to gather your information. If you can’t find any information regarding a brand’s production practices and environmental impact, they most likely have something to hide.

Top tips: check out Good On YouProject JustEthical Fashion Forum and the Australian Ethical Fashion Guide as a start for an abundance of information and further resources.

Support independent, small and local producers

Support new designers, buy one-off, locally made or artisanal products. When you buy from the person who has made it, you can see the direct impact your purchase has AND the designer/producer benefits directly from your purchase!

Opt for secondhand or vintage

Sometimes you can find exactly what you’re after at a secondhand or vintage store. Purchasing something that already exists creates less demand for new products and uses what we already have. Pre-loved and used items have history and character (and often much cheaper!).

Buy an experience

Experiences are memories, and memories can be the best gift of all. Spend time with your loved ones, do something adventurous and exhilarating, visit somewhere new, eat a delicious meal. These gifts last a lifetime.

Be creative

Make something! Handmade gifts are thoughtful and unique and the receiver can see just how much time and effort you put into creating something especially for them!

Support a cause

Support a safe and happy Christmas for all families- reach out to your community to discover programs supporting different local projects. Opt to spread those Christmas dollars and share the love with your community.

Say no to packaging

A paper-less Christmas is a cleaner (and cheaper!) experience. Gift wrap in reusable bags or go ‘nude’ and don’t wrap at all! The less we contribute to the Christmas day waste, the better.

Have a merry, safe and ethical Christmas!

Team Dorsu x

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