We can all appreciate the potential value of buying from a social enterprise or non-profit; however, there has yet to be a real sea change in the consumer consciously and purposefully shifting their spending.
Becoming a conscious consumer is about making socially responsible choices when spending your money. It could involve buying locally, it could involve buying fairtrade, organic, or from non-profits and enterprises. However, the most important factor is that it involves a considered thought process when making a purchasing decision. All over the world, many pockets of conscious consumers are on the rise, using their money for the greater good, but we feel there’s much more that could be done for us all to contribute to a fairer world.
Here’s 5 reasons why you should consider buying from a social enterprise:
1. Being the change you wish to see in the world
This is about taking personal responsibility for ourselves, our societies, and the planet. Even if we don’t run a social enterprise ourselves, we can still make a valuable contribution to the world by buying social. Mahatma Gandhi said ‘be the change you wish to see in the world’, and you can do this by realising the power of your pocket. By choosing to buy from social businesses you are doing your bit to make that impact you’ve always wanted to have. One person can and does make a difference.
2. Investing in people, not profit
When you buy from a social enterprise you invest in people, not profit. You make a difference to the lives of others by improving the world around us, instead of some sole financial target or to line the pockets of a few people at the top of a business. You’re funding the dream of a social entrepreneur, making a valuable difference, and getting that nice warm glow of giving back. Everyone wins!
3. See the social impact you have had
Many social enterprises publish their impact reports, which is a summary of how they have positively impacted their community or the earth with their goods or services. By becoming a conscious consumer, you can see the social impact you’ve had. You can use this evidence to encourage more people to become conscious consumers, as you realise that how you spend your money really can make a positive impact.
4. Buy quality
A lot of social enterprises conduct a lot of innovation around their products, meaning that you will get the finest quality product; whether that’s FairTrade coffee or hand-stitched bags. Buying social doesn’t have to mean compromising on quality. Don’t be afraid to do your research or due diligence on the enterprises you buy from. Be sure to ask them about their goods and services and find out how ethically responsible they are.
5. Know where your money is going
When you buy from a large multinational, you never know where your money ends up. Sometimes these large corporations are connected to other corporations, and your money could end up funding something you are not very supportive of, such as drug trials or animal testing. When you buy from a social enterprise, their business practices are a lot more transparent, and you’ll feel at ease knowing your money is being used for good.