Suffolk, UK

Change the World with Your Wallet: Becoming a more Ethical Consumer #AD

Everything in today’s world is political, from the tea we drink to the bed linen we rest our heads on at night. That’s because each and every product that we purchase, little or large, has a social and environmental consequence. When adding an item to our basket, we need to ask ourselves: who is manufacturing the product and are they paid fairly? What is the item made from and is the source sustainable? Was the product tested ethically? How far did it have to travel to get to me? What kind of brand am I supporting through this purchase: are they inclusive in their hiring and advertising? 

All of these considerations can seem massively overwhelming and even the most ethically minded consumer can sometimes get it wrong - nobody’s perfect. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to make positive choices! Voting for the kind of world we want to live in with our wallets is just as powerful as turning up to the polls on election day. Lately I’ve been making a conscious effort to use my consumer power for good and to inspire you to do the same, I thought I’d share a few products that I’ve discovered along the way. 

WUKA Period Pants

Every sanitary towel you’ve used in your life is still lying around somewhere on this planet. That’s right, they take around 500-800 years to fully decompose. If you found that statistic as shocking as I did, you’ll no doubt be researching environmentally friendly period products pronto. But you needn’t look far. WUKA's reusable period pants remove the need for any single use towels or tampons. Simply pop them on when Aunt Flow arrives and their super absorbent carbon-neutral fabric will hold the same amount as 4 tampons! 

I was sent a couple of pairs of WUKA pants to try and I was very impressed - I’ve been using period pants from a competitor brand for a while now and although I loved them, they did feel a little bulky. Not so with WUKA! Their medium flow pants were lightweight, super soft, comfortable and were completely leak-free. I gave them a thorough test, even wearing them during high intensity exercise, and I had total peace of mind throughout. They were easy to rinse under a cold tap after use and throw in the washing machine at 40 degrees before stashing away to wear on my next period. 

What makes WUKA even more special in my opinion is their commitment to diversity and inclusivity, especially in their advertising. A quick scroll through their Instagram page will show you women of all shapes, sizes and ethnicities wearing their wonderful products and this representation is fantastic to see. They offer a range of sizes (up to 3XL) which is excellent and hopefully they’ll expand that even further, as plus size women are often excluded from the period pant market.

Why support WUKA?

✅ Cuts down on your plastic waste
Inclusive sizing and advertising 
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Harebell Herbs Organic Skincare 

It feels about a million years ago that I was living in Cork, Ireland for my work placement but in reality, it was only February! While I was over in Ireland, I was mooching around one of Cork’s natural health food shops during my lunch break and came across a shelf full of gorgeous locally made Irish skincare. The brand that particularly caught my eye was Harebell Herbs and I picked up a pot of their Organic Primrose Evening Cream to try. 

The cream is super hydrating and luxurious - I woke up with silky smooth skin every morning when applying it before bed. It has a light, pleasant scent and isn’t at all overpowering. But what I loved most about Harebell Herbs was that all of their products are made in West Kerry, Ireland from plants grown in the owner Rosemary’s garden. 

They are never tested on animals, use 90% recyclable packaging, and they’re really transparent about their manufacturing process. They have photos on their website documenting every stage of the making of their skincare. Buying organic products like these is great for wildlife - organic growers do not put harmful fertilisers and pesticides into the environment. These products do great things for your skin and for the planet! 

Why support Harebell Herbs?

Environmentally friendly 
Boosts the local community and economy 
Cruelty free - good for the animals too!

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Educational Reading

If recent protests and activism work has taught us allies anything it’s that educating ourselves about our white privilege and the injustices faced (both historically and today) by black people is nothing short of essential. Purchasing books written by black authors and learning from stories about black experience not only enables this vital education but also supports underrepresented writers. A survey of British young adult books in 2006-2016 revealed that just 8% of titles published within that decade were written by authors of colour. A change is well overdue here and more voices need to be heard within the publishing industry.

The first book that I purchased was the award winning black journalist Reni Eddo-Lodge's Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race. It was such an eye opener. The history section at the very beginning made for difficult reading, particularly when the systematic racism present in the police force and failures of the justice system in cases such as the murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence were discussed. I learned more about black histories and racism in the UK from this book than I'd ever been taught as a schoolgirl. There were some sections that were more rambling and didn't make their points quite as strongly, such as when Eddo-Lodge spoke about whitewashed feminism, but overall it was an essential read that I'd highly recommend.

When choosing to support black authors by buying their books, many of us (myself included) have simply clicked onto Amazon to make purchases. However, it's not news to anyone that Amazon isn't exactly the most ethical platform. Accusations of tax avoidance to exploitation of workers have been levelled at the company over the years and many choose not to support them. But in some cases, Amazon is the only platform where black authors sell their books, so you can make a pragmatic choice to purchase there for the greater good, but you can make the choice to buy other titles from black-owned independent bookshops too.

Why support black authors?

Engagement in vital anti-racist activism 
Supporting underrepresented authors 

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Do you have any tips for shopping ethically? Please share them in the comments! 


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