Every October, bloggers everywhere join with The Nester and write for 31 Days on one topic. I’ve done it before with my 31 Days of Fall Maternity Fashion – and I learned a LOT! Such as, no, you don’t have to post every day, nor do you have to write it all yourself! It’s been a couple years since I’ve participated, and I actually wasn’t even planning on doing it this cycle.

But I have been thinking. And I was working on a blog post when I realized that I probably had enough to put together a whole series. Then *ding*, the 31 Days series popped into my head and voila, I was on board.

Welcome to my 31 Days Series:

Making Purchases That Make a Difference

Making Purchases That Make a Difference

The Root Collectivet

A few years ago, TOMS shoes boomed out onto the market as these really cool, comfortable shoes that were expensive, yes, but hey, they were donating a pair of shoes to people in need with every pair that was purchased. The idea took off, and since then, there have been a few copycats. We could say someone stole their idea – but why? It’s a good one, and it’s benefitting kids who wouldn’t otherwise have shoes!

For whatever reason, the success of TOMS is well known. Yet there are so many other businesses that give back or support local artisans that aren’t as popular or well-known and deserve to be discovered and recognized. That’s part of what I’m seeking to do with this series.

I want to give you the names of companies, individuals, organizations, ministries who have a desire to change the lives of others by changing the way we view shopping. I want to inspire you to WANT to make the change.

Some people are skeptical about ethical organizations – Is the product really worth the extra expense? I could buy a similar one elsewhere for a lot cheaper! Are they really doing what they say they’re doing?

Yes, we are responsible to do our research, but in most cases, the companies are open, up front and honest. They really are contributing to the lives of others – and many are taking this a whole lot further.

Every day I find out about a new company, business or organization that is supporting and providing for men, women and children to make a way in the world when there wouldn’t otherwise be a way. Giving them an opportunity to learn new skills and use them in a job, teaching them to run a business, providing for schooling, homes, food, and a chance at a new life.

Global Mothers Azizi Artisans

Sustainable purchases. Ethical fashion. Fair trade.  Slow fashion.

Purchases that make a difference in the lives of others.

I have felt a growing disappointment with particular clothing companies we have purchased items from for ourselves and the kids in the past – seeing an growing lack of quality coming hand in hand with higher prices, and the news that they had items being produced in the factory that collapsed in Bangladesh.

It’s easy to ignore the state of these factories when we don’t think about it or walk past it every day. But each time I read another tag that says “Made in Bangladesh” or “Made in Cambodia”, I cringe. I don’t like it, but there isn’t any other way. Is there?

bangladesh factory worker

There are the arguments that say there are plenty of these big companies who try to provide a safe working environment, and pay fair-ish wages. We hear the argument that their “employees” are making more than most other people in that country, right along with the reasons why they can’t pay more.

In order to make long term impact, the issues need to be heard, seen, outlined and discussed. In order to internationally change the standards, laws and wages, we can’t ignore what’s going on. Perhaps, we are seeing a little bit of a ripple, as we hear that a few brands are committed to raising the wages in Cambodia. But is this enough?. I don’t believe so.

Why? Because the consumer needs to send a message. Our actions / purchases need to speak louder than our words.

Some of my friends have been working toward making this change in their lives in how they shop, and they’re succeeding! Slowly and surely, low quality, mass-produced is being replaced in their homes by higher quality, slow fashion. It only takes a few to get the fires burning!

During this 31 Days Series, we will be chatting about how to make this change and highlighting some key organizations and businesses that are supporting and producing items ethically, promoting local artisans, building community, and giving back.

I want your heart to be stirred into realizing that it’s an extremely doable, worthwhile, life-impacting change that creates a domino effect on others around you and the communities and workers you are advocating for with your purchases.

I hope and pray you  will not only enjoy this series, but also have your eyes opened to the possibilities and become as passionate as others are about making purchases that make a difference!