5 buying tips for Socially Conscious consumers

Making a difference with your dollar

Do you want to be more mindful in your buying habits? Do you want your dollar to make a difference?

Socially-conscious consumerism - making a difference with your money - is the driving force behind a growing trend of more mindful consumption in modern-day purchasing. Here at WO, we are no different. We also believe we are called to make a difference, and just like you, have dedicated our company to helping others - and more specifically, widows and orphans across the globe.

Each WO product we sell directly funds 2 meals for widows and orphans globally, as part of our strategic partnership with Ethiopian-based Bring Love In.

Currently, Ethiopia is enduring a massive on-going drought crisis. Two consecutive seasons without rain, has left millions across the country suffering from hunger and lack of water. In a region where 80% of the population is dependent on agriculture for their livelihood and nearly 6 million people are without access to clean water, this creates for volatile and uncertain circumstances.

United Nations officials, national governments, and humanitarian groups across the globe have stepped up to help provide emergency assistance and food aid to the despairing region, but the situation continues to get worse striking up concern for more urgent aid. Despite the challenges they face, however, Ethiopians are proving they are a people ready for change with their country among the top five fastest growing economies in the world. At WO, we see this desire to rise above and have chosen to place our humanitarian efforts where they are needed most - with Ethiopian widows and orphans - so that they too can make a difference for their own country in the future. 

Purchasing our USA-made dog toys and unique "people" products offers an opportunity for you to put your dollars toward an effort that will have an impact, in a way that counts. Not only do you help people in need, but you are helping people who are on standing on the precipice of the next chapter in their country's history. Based on our “buy one, give two” model - for every purchase of a WO dog toy, you'll provide two home cooked meals to an orphan or widow in need. Recently, we even passed the 10,000 meals mark!

We don't want you to stop with us, though. Instead, we encourage everyone who purchases our products to strive to be more mindful in every purchase they make in life. From Warby Parker eyeglasses to TOMS, there are socially-conscious for-profit companies across the globe producing a variety of products that align with your socially-conscious-consumer mindset (and, help lots of folks that need it).

We offer up the following five tips to help you make the path to more mindful spending a little easier.

1. Educate yourself. Research companies online to learn more about their stories and practices. And if so inclined, take things one step further by reaching out to someone within the company to get the details.

2. Hold companies responsible. Go beyond the label and packaging. This is where contacting someone directly involved with the company can be extremely helpful. Ask retailers and manufacturers where their products are made, including details on manufacturing facilities and employee treatment.

3. Buy local. Find out where the materials in the products you are considering buying come from before you purchase. Shopping local can give you a better idea of where and how products are made, in comparison to wandering the isles of box stores looking for information. 

4. Ask about certifications. Find out about the makeup of materials. Are they environmentally friendly? Are they fair trade?

5. Be prepared to spend more. While it isn't always the case, products made locally might cost more than those made overseas. In addition, products made outside the USA by people being paid a fair wage will also cost more.  

With today's growing focus on ethics and socially-conscious practice in business, consumers have more power than ever to make a difference around the world with the purchases. Will you be more mindful of your buying habits and their impact?