With Christmas quickly approaching my family is in gift buying overdrive. We are making our lists of who we are buying for and also figuring out our budgets. To be perfectly honest with you most of our decisions come down to cost. We do not like to have ‘stuff’ in our house that we do not use but we also do not like to overspend. The gifts we have traditionally gave are mainly homemade, that we can make in bulk and stay within our budget. For example in 2014, most of our gift recipients received homemade vanilla extract and vanilla sugar.
This year we will be adding another caveat to our gift giving: ethical shopping. I never really thought about shopping ethically before. I’ve always tried to ‘shop green’ and buy products with less packaging but I never really thought about where the products came from and how my purchase can have a greater effect than just giving the store I bought it from money. Sol Alpaca recently contacted me about sharing their products with you and that email was the catalyst for my exploration in ethical shopping.
What is ethical shopping?
In my research I have learned one thing: there is not one definition for ethical shopping. For some ethical shopping means purchasing from companies locally and reducing transportation waste while others look for companies which support the people behind the products. Sol Alpaca is one of these companies.
It is our commitment to revive our traditional cultural identity by promoting the art of weaving in schoolchildren from the rural and urban communities in the highlands. In order to achieve this, we have invited expert professionals in the field of spinning, weaving and design as well as commercial and marketing professionals to provide the children with knowledge and experience in basic business practices, promoting the confection of quality handmade products.
How to buy ethical gifts.
Look at the tags.
When shopping for gifts look at the tags. When a company works hard at giving back to the community they want to let you know that you helped. Sol Alpaca is based in Peru and is very proud of the cultural practices their goods are created from. In the package I received from Sol Alpaca I was also given a booklet outlining the history of the company and how they garments are created.
Do your research.
With the internet readily available to many of us in Canada and the USA it is very easy to research a company. A simple web search will let you know which charities they support (if any), their work culture and their environmental policies.
Decide what is most important to you.
In the beginning of the article, I stated I used to buy gifts with the main factor being cost. Most of the time the gifts I purchased just did not stand the test of time. Ethical gifts may cost more initially. However, they will be a better quality than their mass produced counterparts. In an effort be more conscious in our holiday shopping my family will be purchasing less gifts. By giving gifts to less people our budget will be larger per person/family.
To help you jump start your ethical shopping this holiday season Sol Alpaca will be giving away a 30% discount code to one lucky reader. Just comment below with your favourite item from Sol Alpaca‘s shop. Winner will be drawn November 23rd. See all the details below.
- Number of winners: 1
- Prize: 30% discount code – This discount is 30% off the total amount of the purchase (only applicable to items that are regular price)
- Entry Requirement: Visit Sol Alpaca’s site and then go back to your post leaving a link to their favorite product on the Sol Alpaca site
- Duration: 1 week ending November 23rd.