Did you know that the Tuesday after the shopping madness of the Black Friday to Cyber Monday weekend is called "Giving Tuesday"? Many people take the money they saved on their holiday shopping and put it towards charitable causes. It's a great way to ensure your favourite causes are supported while also meeting the tax deadline for charitable giving.
Of course, there are many ways to contribute to a better world on top of (or besides) donating dollars. At DIOSA, our team was inspired by the Green Friday movement – ditching mass consumerism of Black Friday by promoting the purchase of items that are not only affordable, but also embedded in social responsibility.
(Learn more about Green Friday by checking out our Green is the new black post).
Green Friday Resolutions
When talking about what our Green Friday sale means to DIOSA, our team got to chatting about our spending habits and how we’ve all been inspired to be a little more conscientious about our purchasing behaviour, especially as the Holiday Season rolls around. “Green Friday Resolutions” were born.
Each member of the team chose an initiative that spoke to them and how they could change their consumer habits to contribute positively to their cause. We also chatted about Giving Tuesday and what DIOSA has done (with your help!) to give back to our communities – so make sure you read until the end to hear about how your support has helped make a difference.
Alright, let's hear what the team chose as their Green Friday Resolutions:
Jade: “I want all of my Christmas gifts to be from companies/brands that align with my ethics and standards of sustainability!”
Do you have great intentions of watching your consumer habits, pay attention to what you’re buying, and align yourself with brands that you feel connected with most of the year? Only to buy all your Holiday gifts from big box names and mass produced items once December rolls around?
Yeah, well you’re not alone!
It seems pretty common to think more consciously about your purchasing when it’s actually for you, but not maintaining your personal ethics when it comes to shopping for other people. No judgments here! It can be pricey to buy everyone in your life “sustainable” or local products.
Green Friday inspired Jade to put her money where her mouth is and to shop mainly locally, but also making many of her gifts this year! By researching where to source her materials and choosing certain ingredients to stray away from (her #1 this year is palm oil…it’s not easy though, turns out that stuff is in everything!), she’s making sure each gift she gives also comes with the added value of eco-friendliness.
Christina: “Similar to Jade, while I was working on the Green Friday promotions for DIOSA I realized that I typically panic-buy at the last minute which leads to making the least ethical or sustainable choices. In particular, when my son August was born 2 years ago I decided to do the holiday pj tradition that I've seen many families do... so fun to get those instagram shots on Xmas eve. This year I purchased those jammies from a Canadian business with sustainability practices.”
Everyone loves those cute onesie pajamas that double as an elf costume, or those cozy matching sets you see in Christmas cards. But the sad truth is that they’re often made using unethical manufacturing processes and are so over-produced that the waste they cause is astronomical (not to mention people buying them only for Christmas and never wearing them again!).
So if you’re a “Christmas PJ-er” like a few of us on the team, you’re in luck because Christina did some research and found this pretty neat family-run business: https://www.lazyone.ca.
They emphasize sustainability through initiatives like working with environmentally sound manufacturers, non-toxic dyes, and biodegradable packaging.
PLUS they’re pricing is right on target with all the other brands out there so you don't have to spend extra dollars to make a more ethical purchase.
Which means if you have anything on your shopping list, a little bit of research will probably point you in the direction of a brand that you can feel confident in and won’t break the bank!
Kim also suggested PIKA for kids pjs – a woman-led Canadian business.
Uzair: “I am inspired to ameliorate our environment by bringing a change in my consumer behaviour. I am willing to commit to minimizing the purchase of plastic products and instead choose the eco-friendly option. One small change can lead to a huge impact in this world.”
Ah, plastic. The Environmentalists foe! It’s no secret that plastic is pretty much terrible for the environment, but it’s also no secret that it’s pretty difficult to simply cut it out of your lifestyle. Plastic and convenience go together hand-in-hand, and while we’re making definite strides in the right direction (yay for plastic bag bans!), we’re still seeing it everywhere.
And Uzair is right, one small change can lead to a huge impact in this world. That’s why being conscientious and doing what you can, where you can, is so important. Purchase the option with the recycled packaging, bring along a reusable shopping bag (ahem…our tote bag would work pretty great for this), not using plastic baggies to hold your fruits and veggies at the grocery store (their skin is the only container you need!), or carry a reusable bottle with you at all times! Before you know it, all these small gestures add up and you’ll be saving the Earth from tonnes of non-degradable waste.
Kim: “Invest in a garburator! There is no municipal composting in my city and I want my fruit and veggie waste to biodegrade rather than collecting in plastic bags in a landfill.”
So this one’s a bit tricky. There’s a few options here as well as much discussion and disagreements behind properly disposing of your food waste amongst the “Green” community.
If composting is an option for you, then of course that’s what you should do. But for those of us who are living in Newfoundland, we know that this option isn’t as accessible for us, especially with our long winters or for those of us with little to no outdoor space. So this got our CEO Kim thinking about how she can limit the damage done by her food waste.
A little bit of research showed that yes, garburators do use water resources to flush the food down, which then needs to be filtered through your local wastewater facility. When all is said and done though, food put in a garburator (at least in St. John’s, NL) will generally create less methane than if it were to decompose in a landfill – not to mention the environmental impact of simply transporting the waste there!
It also goes without saying that the ultimate course of action is to limit your food waste, but eradicating it entirely is probably impossible for you. Your best bet is to research your local waste facilities and weigh out your options, choosing which one will cause the least damage to your local ecosystem!
Leanne: Leanne tries to limit her clothing shopping in general, which is an awesome initiative in itself. After all, a major reason why fast fashion is so damaging is because of the sheer volume of purchasing the average person makes. However, for the sake of this Green Friday Resolution experiment, she says “when I DO buy clothes, I want to support only companies that are earth friendly, use recycled materials, and have good ethical standards”.
Sounds like a brand we know, amiright? wink wink nudge nudge
But seriously though, choosing companies that aren’t mass producing, ensuring ethical manufacturing standards and generally striving to be a contributor to a better globe, you’re essentially driving the change that you want to be in this world.
It’s simple supply and demand economics! Don’t forget how much power you hold as a consumer. If we all band together and demand better practices from the companies we’re capable of supporting, well, it won’t be long before we see every company meeting our standards.
Katie: “I’d like to stop buying plastic baggies and plastic wrap and invest in reusable bags and beeswax wrap”.
Raise of hands to show who goes shopping in their second hand clothes, at their local grocer, only to later wipe up a spill with paper towels, or store food with saran wrap 🙋♀️.
This is a trap many of us fall into. Maybe it’s because the non-reusable options are so darn convenient, or maybe it’s because they’re so cheap. Either way, household supplies can be a pretty heavy contributor to our wasteful habits. Luckily, they’re also some of the easiest steps we can take to living a greener life!
Reusable shopping bags, and reusable cloths and reusable wraps such as beeswax wraps are all super simple ways you can drastically cut down on your household’s footprints! Not to mention that all of these products can be bought locally, and with super cute patterns that’ll put your paper towels to shame.
Check out Abeego, another woman-owned Canadian business we can support.
Sure it’s an added cost initially, but since they’re all reusable, you’ll find that you’ll actually save money by not purchasing single-use products anymore. Seriously, count how often you’re purchasing the same household items and do the calculations for yourself!
Marlayne: “I am going to commit to shopping local and as close to home as possible. Supporting local farmers, crafters and small business!”
This is a biggie, and honestly needs no explanation. It’s no secret that purchasing local gives back to your own economy, contributes directly to anti-mass production and reduces your emissions footprints greatly!
But besides the environmental benefits (which are abundant), it’s simply so important to support local now more than ever. It’s been a rough year, and many small businesses are reeling from its effects. We’ve seen many quickly adapt through online ordering, delivery or curbside pickup, so let’s avail of their services!
Okay, so that was a lot to digest. We won’t blame you if you skimmed through a section or two, so we’ve compiled our list of suggestions mentioned throughout this blog so maybe you can join us in our Green Friday Resolutions!
Tips From the Team
There seems to be a significant push towards “sustainable” or “ethical” consumer practices these days, and while it’s nice to see, it can also feel a bit overwhelming. The hyper focus on so many drastically different issues that sometimes contradict one another can lead us to inaction through information overload. Here are 7 tips that can help you sort through the noise...
- Buy second hand! This is such an easy way to minimize your footprint, and it also sorta feels like fate when you find the perfect, singular item that only you get to purchase.
- Make gifts if you can’t find the right fit to your values. It’s fun, it’s meaningful, and it’s an easy way to monitor every element of your present to maximize sustainability!
- Research, research, research! If you want something sustainably made, I promise you there’s someone out there sustainably making it. It might just take a little poking around the internet to find the right one within your budget, but it’s worth it. Just Google it. 😜
- Identify your most wasteful behaviour and hold yourself accountable! Even if this means going back to get your re-usable grocery bags when you've forgotten them.
- Buy what you can local! This can sometimes be a bit more pricey or time consuming, we know, but we like to think that the rewards outweigh the cons. If local is not in your budget, or you’re looking for something a bit more specific than you can find locally, our tips above can help guide you along your purchasing journey.
- Buy what you believe in. It’s impossible and discouraging to be the “perfect consumer”, so don’t even try! Choose a more sustainable or ethical consumer behaviour that speaks to you, and practice it as much as you can.
- And finally, buy less! This one is SO much easier said than done, but it’s also arguably the best way we can benefit the environment. Every time you’re itching to buy something, or do a little retail therapy, genuinely ask yourself whether you need it, how much you need of it, and the length of time you’ll be able to use it.
While it would be wonderful if we could all become the touted superhuman that makes all the right purchasing decisions, all the time, it’s more likely that we’ll have to choose initiatives that are feasible and meaningful to us, and work our way up. We’re all capable of changing the world in our own small ways, we just need to choose how.
Giving Tuesday + DIOSA For Good
While we’re on the topic of doing good, today is Giving Tuesday and we'd like to share what you've helped us give back to the community already this year. We aim to be a company that you're proud to support.
2% For You+
DIOSA is committing to give 1% for women + 1% for the earth. This means that 2% of our sales will be given either in-kind or in-cash to initiatives that contribute to women and girl’s human rights, economic prosperity, and financial independence as well as improving our global environment.
Our recent campaign to increase subscribers is an example of one such initiative. We donated $1 for every new subscriber to My Melody School for children in Guatemala. Because of your support, we were able to feed a family of five for a month!
Because Guatemala is close to our hearts here at DIOSA, we've been working with Mayan women weavers to create a line of accessories. We purchase their fair-trade and handmade accessories while supporting the continuation of this culturally significant practice that supports women's economic development in Guatemala.
On top of this, we have collaborated with reputable brands who have a focus on sustainability to provide high-quality accessories. When we launch our e-store, we'll be selling Nimble battery packs (100% recycled materials, many pieces are biodegradable, and Nimble collects the battery packs at the end of their long lives to re-cycle the parts again). We'll also be selling DIOSA branded S’well water bottles to reduce the use of single-use plastic bottles. S'well is a certified B-Corp which means it's gone through a rigorous assessment of its impact on its workers, customers, community and environment. DIOSA is working towards becoming a B-Corp, as well.
And last but not least, our designer Leanne is in the throes of creating our next line: the Estrella Collection which will incorporate a lot of the lessons we learned creating the Maya about how to be even more sustainable and ethical.
We’re proud of our Maya Collection, but we’re even prouder of how far we’ve come since our inception – and will be using our Kickstarter funds to grow our sustainable practices and become a leader in ethical fashion.