Today a lot of our shopping happens in the distant world of e-commerce, but in-person shopping allows us to break the usual disconnect that happens between consumers and products when an item is purchased online. Ordering online is easy and doesn’t take much effort or consideration. Shopping in person and getting to know the makers is an important experience that tends to get lost in todays society. Shopping in person allows us to ask questions about how the product was made, what materials were used, and connect with our local makers.
There is something magical about the physical act of shopping. Touching the product, hearing the story, trying it on, but sometimes shopping ethically can be a challenge because there aren’t too many options in your regular stores. However, there are some ways to shop successfully!
Shop Local Boutiques Instead of Name Brand Stores
Get to know your local boutique owners. Learn the brands they carry and ask questions. Since boutiques are usually curated by the owner or buyer, they are typically knowledgable about the brands they carry. Even if the brands they carry aren’t ethical or sustainable, customers asking questions help raise awareness of the consumer demand for ethical brands.
One of the best connections I’ve ever made was with the boutique owner of Sassafras in Seattle. Through this connection I’ve been able to learn about other local brands, events, and sustainable initiatives going on in my own backyard. 10/10 recommend checking out your local boutiques!
Shop Vendor Fairs
Vendor fairs are a BLAST. I’m always shocked at how many people have never been to vendor fairs (also called craft shows sometimes). Vendor fairs are always a great girls day out, double date, and place to find unique gifts. Large vendor fairs bring makers from all over the country to one place. There’s usually food trucks and sometimes even a bar. Eat, drink, & shop, yes, please! Vendor fairs allow you to meet the makers of the goods and ask questions in person. And you get the chance to empower small business owners which is the best! Plus you’ll find some killer one of a kind clothes too. In fact, I’ll be heading up a few vendor fairs around the holidays! You can come say hi to me with Give a Damn Goods.
Try the Farmers Market
Yes, farmers markets are typically for food, however, a lot of farmers markets open their space to local vendors too! In both the recent places I’ve lived (Nashville & Seattle) there have been clothing options available at the farmers market too!