In recent years, the ethical consumerism movement has gained considerable movement. Adherents base their purchases not only on their needs, but their beliefs — they advocate buying only those things and from those retailers that reflect their personal concerns.
Shoppers who disagree with big box stores’ labor practices or business models, for example, might patronize only “mom and pop” shops in their hometowns. Others who are worried about unfair international trade practices or foreign sweatshop labor might purchase goods and services only from those companies that can verifiably guarantee that the workers who make their goods are properly compensated and well-treated.
Purchasing along ethical lines is a great way to champion the causes you value and the beliefs you hold without participating in political debates.
Some manufacturers and retailers choose to model their businesses on faith bases. Others might exist to promote social change, equality, or justice. Some environmentally-minded consumers might eschew consumer packaged goods due to the landfill waste their packaging causes. Others might buy consumer packaged goods, but limit their purchases to goods that come in fully-recyclable materials.
There’s no limit to belief systems, therefore the range of “ethical businesses” exists over an entire spectrum of human ethics. And a senior living in Cincinnati has plenty of opportunities to vote with his or her dollars.
There are plenty of stores in the Queen City that exist either to promote a good cause, or that serve a particular ethos as part of a mission statement. Here are a few of our favorites; check them out!
Ten Thousand Villages, in Cincinnati’s O’Bryonville neighborhood, sells handcrafted imports from around the world, including jewelry, decor and home goods. Its main focus is to promote economic development in other countries through equitable commerce — most or all of the items found there are certified fair trade goods produced via sustainable means.
Ten Thousand Villages’ wares are handcrafted using local and recycled materials, and their sales support over 20,000 artisans from 30 countries throughout the developing world. The store touts that it has provided more than $140 million in sustainable income to workers in underdeveloped nations since its founding in 1946.
Each purchase helps to provide reliable income sources and build sustainable local economies, so it’s an excellent way to shop your conscience this season and help to make a true difference for people in other countries who survive on fair trade.
Legacies Upscale Resale
Founded in 1994 by a group of Tristate women who wanted to support local cancer victims, Legacies Upscale Resale is a consignment shop for furniture, home goods, jewelry and artwork. Its proceeds benefit the Cancer Support Community of Greater Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky which, in turn, provides ancillary support and community-based services to cancer patients and their families.
Legacies Upscale Resale accepts donated or consigned items. Its merchandise selection thus varies widely, so it’s always a great store for browsing. You never know what you’ll find there!
Many items are offered at a significant discount relative to their actual retail value, so it’s also a wonderful opportunity to pick up bargains on decor or furnishings for your home, all while you help to support Tristate residents who are struggling with serious illnesses.
Building Value, located on Spring Grove Avenue in Northside, is a resale store for new and used building materials. Founded in 2004 as an offshoot of Easterseals, Building Value salvages reusable lumber, brick, piping, siding and other building materials and repurposes them away from the landfill, into new building projects.
Many of the materials the store sells have been taken from deconstructed buildings. Instead of allowing the wrecking ball or implosive demolition to haphazardly destroy otherwise usable materials, Building Value operates its own professional demolition service. Its workers take a building apart piece by piece, preserving the materials for repurposing and, often, saving vintage architectural treasures that can command a high value on the resale market.
The salvaged materials are sold at a deep discount to anyone who needs them — from large-scale developers and builders, to homeowners and landlords who need to repair or renovate their own properties. The proceeds, in turn, support Easterseals, which provides a wide range of community-based safety net services to vulnerable populations in the Cincinnati area.
Shopping Offers Rewards For ERS!
Do you shop at Kroger or Amazon? Did you know that you can support a cause that you’re passionate about just by shopping? It won’t cost you any money or fuel points! And using the Smile.Amazon.com site and not just Amazon.com will not impact pricing — it only designates that a portion of your purchase price will go to charity. This is absolutely free, and your shopping can make a difference in someone’s life!
Sign up to support ERS with Kroger Community Rewards, organization number 83341 online at www.kroger.com/communityrewards or in the store at the customer service kiosk.
Sign in or register at Smile.Amazon.com and choose Episcopal Retirement Services as your charitable organization. If you have questions, call Rick Wilson in development at ext. 4271. Thanks for supporting the Good Samaritan Mission!
There are plenty of opportunities for seniors to shop ethically in Cincinnati.
Check out the causes listed above or do your own research online. Purchasing along ethical lines is a great way to champion the causes you value and the beliefs you hold without participating in political debates. If you’re a senior living in Cincinnati, shop ethically and use your dollars to effect positive change!