The goods we own vs. the good we do

We all like to buy stuff. And some things like food, water and clothing are fundamental to life. And even the things that might not be so essential, consumed in careful moderation, aren’t going to keep us on a reckless trail to an even more materialistic and unsustainable world.  

At buy positively, our aim isn’t to become preachers, but rather informants and an amplifier for responsibly courageous brands. We just believe it’s important to understand our own impact. To be conscious of what we’re buying, where it comes from and how it’s impacting our communities and our planet.

There are some extraordinary brands out there today, already building an alternative to irresponsible consumerism. If you support them, your purchase might help in investing in ways to offset the heavy environmental impact of manufacturing or uncover breakthrough technologies helping positively change the face of capitalism. It might even help finance new opportunities for budding entrepreneurs in poor communities; people brave enough to defy the odds against them, start small businesses and ambitiously strive to breathe new life into their communities and local economies.

With so much noise today, it makes it extremely difficult to separate the good doers and the good marketers, but they are out there. The responsibly courageous brands that are giving back not because it’s good PR, but because it’s part of their DNA – it’s simply who they are.

The problem is that the truly conscious brands often don’t have the financial means to make themselves known to consumers. Rather than spending money on marketing about being socially responsible and philanthropic, they’re choosing to invest in taking action; making a real difference. These are the brands that merit a louder voice. These are the one’s that have the potential to turn a small counterculture of modest, smarter consumption into the new normal.

Our goal is to build awareness around these brands and a way of buying in which benefits might outweigh the costs. Initially this sounds counterintuitive. But what if we bought less? And what if we made a conscious decision to only buy from the brands committed to so much more than their margins?

These brands are out there. We’ve had the pleasure of already speaking with a handful of them as well.

Consumerism isn’t inherently bad – it’s its excessiveness that gives it a bad wrap and makes it by fact unsustainable.

While we’re all for consuming less, simplifying our lives and making a conscious effort to shift our priorities away from a culture in which we’re defined by the goods we own rather than the good we do, consumerism is here to stay. We’re always going to need things to live and we’re probably going to still want a few things we don’t need; let’s just be reasonable about it. 

(image: AKademics)

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