THINKING OF OUR BUYING POWER AS A VOTE
We live in a world where our buying power counts as much, if not more than our vote. Many of us have become disillusioned with politics to a point where it seems difficult to find anything to give our vote to that truly aligns with our values. But how we use our buying power can act in a similar way to how we use our vote; by investing in products, services and business we believe in, we are investing in the future we want to see.
Each time we purchase something we are making a contribution towards helping that type of product, service or business to continue and thrive. The more certain types of businesses grow, the more appealing that area of the market becomes to other potential business, making others more likely to start something similar.
I used to find the thought of consuming more consciously somewhat paralysing. Each time I thought I had found a brand or a cause I believed in, I would soon discover something about them that highlighted contradictions, hypocrisy or a very flawed attempt at lining up with an otherwise admirable value. But running my own business and thinking about the products and people I want to invest in has made me realise one thing: the people, products and services we support don’t need to be perfect. To positively impact our future, they just need to be helping us to move towards something better than where we are today.
Let’s consider the case for environmentally friendly cleaning products. By buying environmentally friendly cleaning products we are investing in a future that will contain more of these types of cleaning products. Even if they are not perfect right now, purchasing them rather than other types of cleaning products creates a market for more environmentally friendly products to come into existence. With increased competition comes increased quality control, better standards, more rigorous testing and more consumer critique and discussion. All great things that will lead to the inevitable optimisation of these products.
Buy buying from large, market-dominating retailers we are saying this is what we want to see more of in future and that future will be different to one full of small businesses. By investing in businesses that focus on sustainable practices we are saying we want a bigger market for these kinds of products. And so on.
Using my buying power more consciously is even more important to me as a business owner. We consider every new supplier with great care and always find ourselves asking the question: is this something we want to see more of in future? When I consider products like our Botanical Dyed Linen Napkins, the answer is a very clear yes! Made in small batches using natural plant-based dyes and pre-washed with eco-friendly laundry liquid and fabric softener, they are exactly the kind of product I hope to see more of in future; products that support handmade, artisanal small businesses who care deeply about both the product they make and the wider world around them. Products made from completely natural, biodegradable materials that will only become softer and more beautiful the more they are used. Products that are simple and have a timeless aesthetic which means they will not date quickly. Products that come with a wonderful story, whether it is the story of how they were made, what they are made of, how they will age or what experiences they can facilitate through their use.
I don’t think the decision to buy more consciously needs to be a paralysing one. It doesn’t have to affect every single item we buy. But I do believe that thinking about our buying power in a similar way to how we think about our vote can serve to make us more mindful of the fact that we do have some influence over what we will see more or less of in future. And that, to me, is an empowering thought.
Images above show our Botanical Dyed Linen Napkins in Stone, Linen Cushion Covers in light grey, Maple Cutting Board in small, Pallares Solsona Kitchen Knife in medium, Eggshell Plates used as plates and condiments platter, Eggshell Tumbler, Eggshell Bowls, Tumbler in Stone used as a holder for flatware, Cradle Candle Bowl in brown clay and matte grey glaze, Candlestick Saucer in brown clay and matte grey glaze, Tall Simple Pitcher used as a vase, Stone Washed Dessert Forks, Stone Washed Dessert Spoons, Pinch bowls in ivory clay and matte white glaze and brown clay and matte grey glaze, Simple Creamer, Eggshell Spice Jar and Spice Jar in Stone.