Giving the perfect gift is important, but giving an impactful gift makes it that much sweeter.
One of the ways you can support the causes you care about this holiday season is by using your purchase power to make more informed decisions. Purchase power means choosing to spend your dollars in places that reflect your values or advance a social cause or issue that you care about.
Here are five ways to make an impact with your purchases.
- Shop Small Business Saturday. You’ve no doubt heard of Black Friday and perhaps Cyber Monday, but the profits from these dedicated days of shopping often go to big box stores. Since 2010, Small Business Saturday — which takes place the day after Black Friday — has been a day dedicated to shopping at small, local businesses. To date, consumers have reportedly spent $140 billion across all 11 Small Business Saturdays. Most small retailers offer special deals and discounts, so look for a store you feel great about supporting!
- Shop local. It can be quick and convenient to order products online and have them shipped straight to you. But spending your money with local retailers boosts economic wellbeing in your very own community. It also helps support shop owners and their families, as they get to keep more of their profits by avoiding shipping charges and overhead from distributors.
- Shop BIPOC-owned. There are hosts of stores and services owned by people of color, but they’re not always the most widely advertised. When thinking about purchasing gifts for the holidays, pre-prepped food for your family gathering, or any services you need throughout the season (childcare, housekeeping, dry cleaning/tailoring, or professional family photos, to name a few) consider researching BIPOC-owned and operated companies.
- Shop sustainable. It’s not just economic support that our communities need; it’s also environmentally-conscious spending. When we choose to purchase sustainable goods, which are environmentally-friendly in their design, manufacturing, distribution, or use, we help protect the planet and avoid causing further damage. Ethical fashion is also a part of the sustainability movement, focusing on worker’s rights and social good. Avoid one-time-use products and “fast fashion” this holiday season, and make the move toward zero-waste efforts.
- Give Gifts that Give Back. Find businesses that are donating portions of proceeds to causes you care about. Websites like Social Good help you find gifts that can support a variety of causes, and many B Corps certified businesses give back as well.
Whether you’re buying from a local company, purchasing sustainable goods, or boycotting a particular product, how you buy makes a difference. You can read more about using your purchase power in our Civic Life Today magazine on the topic.