Inspired by AmyAnn Cadwell and her efforts in mindful consumerism through her online platform The Good Trade...
RYB: What is The Good Trade?
The Good Trade: The Good Trade is an online publication providing resources for the ethically minded consumers through consumer guides and editorial features of social impact companies.
RYB: What inspired you to start The Good Trade?
The Good Trade: The publication was built on the fundamental idea that consumers are powerful and the dollars we spend each day are a vote for the world we want to live in. Our team envisions a world where ethically minded consumers vote with their everyday purchases for a world that is sustainable and free from forced labor.
RYB: What is the impact of The Good Trade, locally and globally?
The Good Trade: The driving force in our work with The Good Trade is to start a meaningful conversation. We want to be a gathering place for a quickly growing collective of conscious consumers who aren’t afraid to use their voice and their wallet to question the way things are and seek a better way.
RYB: How do you find the amazing projects and products that you share through your platform?
The Good Trade: That is the best part of our work! Many of the ethical companies we feature on The Good Trade reach out to us, sharing the incredible story of their commitment to positive impact on people and the planet. Additionally, myself and another member of our team are completing a degree in Social Entrepreneurship from Pepperdine University. Our graduate work has introduced us to countless social enterprises that are leveraging business principles for social good.
RYB: What are some of your biggest concerns about the world of consumption?
The Good Trade: Documentaries like The True Cost are helping us to understand how fast fashion is depleting the earth’s resources and leveraging slave labor to pass a “cheap” cost to the end consumer. Over $150 billion dollars of profit are generated from forced laborers who produce the products we eat, use and wear everyday. American consumers alone generate nearly 254 million tons of waste per year and much of this waste and exploitation is is due to the fashion industry.
Many consumers are deeply disturbed by what’s behind fast fashion and other industries, but don’t really know where to start to change our lifestyles or spending habits. A s consumers, I think we have the responsibility to question the status quo and to support companies and lifestyle decisions that align with our personal values, whatever they may be.
RYB: How can people can begin to live more consciously?
The Good Trade: I’m a total believer in small steps, in asking more questions, and in raising one’s voice. When it comes to our spending, we cannot underestimate the power of our little decisions to accumulate into something meaningful. The choice to buy local or to grab a fairly traded coffee roast, these are all small but amazing steps.
But the decision to consume more ethically is not always about choosing to buy better, it’s also about choosing to buy less. After 100 years of an industrialized world, we find ourselves pressed up against the limits of our monthly budgets to sustain more space, more clothes, more furniture and just more things. As a society, we’ve set new standards for how many outfits is suitable, how many square feet a family should have and how many rooms we should be able to fill.
The standard of how much stuff we’re supposed to have in our lives is just wrong and it’s time to reinvent it. Ethical consumption not only about buying more conscious products, but also about buying less things in general and making the few purchases we do make really count in terms of quality, ethics and durability.
RYB: Do you feel that the convenience of online shopping has had a positive or negative impact on how our society consumes?
The Good Trade: Great question! In the end, I believe it will have a positive impact as people have better tools to include online research during their shopping process. It is much easier to do a little digging around about the brands or the products you are buying online, than it can be in store or in person. As people began to include online research as a natural part of their everyday purchasing habits, I think we will see a trend towards more conscious consumption.
RYB: How do you see The Good Trade evolving?
The Good Trade: We envision a world where consumers match their ethics and their spending to promote environmental sustainability and ethical labor practices and we’re committed to doing whatever it takes to provide resources for those ethically minded consumers!