I’m currently in the process of moving, and in turn I’ve been shopping around for ethical brands for my new apartment. Since I’m in a place in my life where I’m more educated about how products are made and I have a little more money to spend this time around, I’ve decided to forgo buying whatever’s the cheapest and instead shopping smart. But because choosing ethical products can be a bit more pricey and I’m not made of money, I came up with some ways to decide when to spend the extra money. Here are the times I’ve learned when you should choose to buy ethical:
If You Put It in Your Mouth
Whether it’s cookwear, dishes, cutlery or tupperwear, the rule is if you cook food or put food in it it shouldn’t contain toxic materials. A quick Google search of where you can buy the ethical products mentioned above will help you find options within your budget. I personally purchased reclaimed glasses and wooden dinnerwear from Are Naturals, glass tupperwear from IKEA and glass jars from the dollar store.
If You Put It on Your Skin
This obviously applies to things such as hand soap, dish soap, cleaning solution and towels, but items such as mattresses and couches should concern you as well because of the chemicals they spray to make them flame retardant. I’m personally in favor of ethically-friendly mattress brands such as Tuft & Needle and Casper, and IKEA offers some couches made from non-toxic materials.
If it’s Made Out of Wood
Think kitchen tables, coffee tables, dressers and desks. There are lots of ethical furniture companies out there, but they definitely come at a higher cost than IKEA. So, if you’re on a strict budget, a better way to shop is to opt for buying used from a thrift store or Craigslist, or to buy reclaimed furniture on Etsy. Nothing starts a good dinner conversation than a stylish kitchen table reclaimed from wooden pallets.
Buying ethical isn’t just good for yourself and the environment, but it’s a great way to spark interesting conversation when guests come over. Let me know in the comments below what ethically-made products you would make sure to buy for your new place.