Giving the perfect gift is important, but giving an impactful gift makes it that much sweeter.
Whether it’s during the holidays or for special events throughout the year, one of the ways you can support the causes you care about is by using your purchase power to make more informed decisions.
At Points of Light, we define “purchase power” as 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.
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!
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.
There are hosts of stores and services owned by people of color, but they’re not always the most widely advertised. Weather you’re shopping online or in person, when thinking about purchasing gifts, pre-prepped food for your gatherings or any services you need throughout the year (childcare, housekeeping, dry cleaning/tailoring or professional family photos) consider researching BIPOC-owned and operated companies.
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,” 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. Purchase power is one of nine forms of civic engagement in Points of Light’s Civic Circle. Explore more to find out how you can become more active in the causes you care about.