From The Blog

The Power of Ethical Consumers

April 4, 2012 - Business, Community, Consumers, Sustainability
By Nestor Bailly

In the political process, some believe that their vote doesn’t matter. That’s just wrong, as is the notion that when you ‘vote with your wallet’ by shopping and eating at stores and restaurants that do good it doesn’t matter.

Informed customers who care about the environment, their community, and business ethics are a huge force for change. And there are a lot of them out there, just like you. Whether you read product labels carefully, bring in a travel mug for your morning coffee, or take extra care to recycle, you are part of a growing segment of U.S. consumers who want to spend their money according to their values.

Part of what makes this group of people powerful is the capital they control. They can choose to reward businesses that share their values with their continued patronage, which encourages other businesses to make changes to attract them. Sustainability is rewarded and spread naturally. Sustainability becomes sustainable, from a business perspective (actually it has been for years!).

The other part of their power is the easy sharing and transparency of the digital age. What we say and share has the power to carry or destroy companies. With social media, businesses have to respond to what their customers want or risk having their reputations damaged. What you support with your dollars and your digital footprint matters!

However there are two obstacles to unlocking this power: It is hard to know which businesses have ethical and sustainable practices, and we aren’t coordinated to make a maximum impact. Ethikus, with Shop Your Values Week, has solved for that.

Imagine if the thousands of ethical consumers in New York pledged for one week to make an effort to support the hundreds of businesses that do good with their everyday practices: People would discover new places to shop and eat they didn’t know about before, those businesses would get a huge boost in publicity and revenue, and other businesses would perk up to the multiple advantages of ‘going green.’

In a nutshell, that’s what we’re creating with Shop Your Values Week, May 3-10th, and our database of local ethical and sustainable businesses. All it takes to start a movement is your pledge.

Join the movement, make some change for good! We’d love to hear what you have to say. Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and don’t forget to take the Pledge.

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