Things are changing, slowly but surely towards a better way of living – one that encompasses the importance of the process behind all things and not just that of the outcome. There has been a mainstream rise in the last few years to question where your food comes from, where your clothes are made and how much love and attention has gone into the work itself. It is becoming the general rule of thumb to gravitate towards quality – choosing growers markets over big chain suppliers and sourcing locally made products. Whilst this is all well and good, there is still a shift that is needed when it comes to the ‘intent’ behind the products that we buy into.
How can one truly feel good about what they have just bought in to? The first step is to dig a little deeper and entertain the idea of doing a little research so that you can feel good about your decisions, so that they are based on more than mere hearsay. An informed opinion brings you closer to the truth behind things, and brings you as an individual closer to feeling good about the choices that you make. The sheep mentality is no longer acceptable – because as a consumer you have all the power – everything that you purchase makes a statement – and shows just how little or how much you care about the outcome of the world around you.
Choosing what to buy or not what to buy changes everything, it is not only potentially one less item that will end up in landfill, but it is one step closer to saving our much-needed resources and making it possible for working conditions here and abroad to improve. It raises the question of where the proceeds go. Because who really profits from what is it is that you have just bought into? Is it the environment? Highly unlikely. It’s definitely not the animals, its possibly not even the local or wider community – because we are still a long way off from fair trade, equal pay and beneficial working conditions. But by giving more thought to what it is that you choose to purchase, you are making a statement – that there is no room in our society for products that hold little value other than that of pure profit. Because in the bigger picture of things, the world is shrinking, making it possible to work with people from all over the world – most of the products that we buy today, have the contributing factor of at least 2 or 3 countries behind it, so it is more important than ever before to give time and consideration to your next purchase, because what you buy today not only affects workers in other countries, but more importantly, it can promote change.
Watching the growth of large companies can tell you a lot about the general population, and when there is a significant change in the way that they manufacture – you can count on the fact that there has been a shift with consumerism across the board, reflecting the fact that we are no longer happy to accept products that are made with ill intent. Generational icons Coke and Nike/converse – have publicly shown what it takes to turn things around – and that it is possible to continue to grow and improve conditions in all key areas. You can virtually draw parallels between these companies with the mainstream consensus on consumerism. There are companies that are making good waves, and are well on the way to knocking the older companies off their number one spots – the reflective shift towards Vans is a tangible shift towards quality control, and is more aligned with a vegan approach for a new generation that no longer accepts the old school mentality. Melissa shoes – due to their recycling/nothing gets wasted approach to manufacturing – are also up there, couple that with the best working conditions for employees and melissa and Vans show how something can be made when supported by good intent for its workers and the environment. Its representative of a simpler sure-footed approach, because at the root of it all – all we really want out of life is assurance that everything is OK, that we are not walking blindly through life and that ultimately we can feel good about our decisions.
The new tone is becoming easier to find, which would have been impossible without perhaps the two biggest icons of out time – google and apple – both helping to make transparency king. Because with transparency – it is becoming easier than ever before to research what it is that we are buying into. And the best thing about buying something made with good intent, is knowing that not only does it feed your happiness, but that of those who are connected to the process behind the product.
It comes down to the little things, the coffee that you consume on a daily basis, the lunch that you pack for your children, the brands that stare back at you from the supermarket shelves. Who is benefitting from your money? Where does it go? Does it feed back into your community – and I am not just talking locally because the world is in fact your community, but what you need to be clear about is where you would most like to see your money go to and how you feel about the chain of events that take place after your money has changed hands.
Good intent is everything, it’s the reasoning for the very foundation that you have created to hold your life in place. Without it, I don’t see how anything can work – or work out well with good results. The intent behind everything that you do – holds the key to the success or failure of the outcome. Feeling good about your decisions is an essential part to becoming a better person. And a big part of the process of understanding yourself better, is to question whether or not you can you live happily with the consequences of everything that you are buying into.