Ethical Merchants. What, why, how?
Imagine a world where a business's primary objective is not to maximise profits, but to create value - social, economical and environmental. Imagine that the pay gap between a CEO and the median worker is not a scandalous ratio of 1000 : 1.
Ignorance is not bliss.
It's no secret that our endless pursuit of ROI and economies of scale is failing humanity. It's widening inequalities, hindering social mobility, and destroying the environment. Both people and planet have been exploited and abused for the sake of exponential growth and profits, of which only the top executives enjoy (read: hoard) the spoils. The Fashion industry has been getting the heat of this ugly revelation in recent times. But it's not just Fashion. Many consumer goods are involved in unethical practices that has gone unnoticed for a long time, and we, consumers, are how these businesses continue to do what they do. Our ignorance is their bliss. But our ignorance is going to cost us. Well, maybe not us. But it will cost them - our first-world consumption is costing people in developing nations. Even when it comes to environmental pollution, people in developing nations will be the most affected by climate change. (More on all these topics in our future posts!)
Ethical Merchants was born of the belief that consumers can change the world, and it can be as simple and practical as shopping ethically. When consumers demand low prices, companies cut costs, not profit margins. And if we demand transparency and ethical practices, companies will have to live by those standards. After all, the greatest motivator for any business to make any change, is when sales and revenue are affected. So it is crucial that we shop responsibly and invest in a future where the powerless are not exploited, and the earth is not destroyed.
Make a list, check it twice!
Ethical Merchants is my attempt towards this future that I envision. Brands need to take responsibility. So I curated a list of brands who have, and I am always looking out for more! Through this journey, I've had the privilege to meet many wonderful like-minded people who share the same heart and values in running their businesses. These brands don't simply use sustainable materials, they care for the process and the people that are a part of it. We want to celebrate these brands, tell their stories, and influence others to join the movement. I'm excited to share more with all of you, so keep a look out for "The Heart Behind", a series of interviews where we find out more from the founders of each brand!
Here's to inspiring an ethical revolution. From the ground up.