WHAT: Conscious Consumerism

A small change that can make a big difference

After the sensory overload of the holiday season, most of us slow down and move into a more contemplative mindset… Reflection and resolve become the standard as we set our intentions for a new year. For 2016, it’s just that heady holiday hubbub that has prompted us at Kalite to fix our thoughts again on an important topic: how to be more conscious consumers.

You see, as the years go by, you start to realise the joy of Christmas or Chanukah doesn’t lie solely, or even largely, in the presents. It’s not encased within the baubles on the tree, no matter how beautiful they may be, or inside the dreidels as they whirl. The joy is in the familiar smells that waft from the kitchen as generation after generation prepares a traditional family meal; it’s in the laughter of loved ones as they gather around the table; and in the hugs as everyone says a final, parting goodbye.

That’s why we resolve to use 2016 as an opportunity to shop smarter.

How can you make a difference?

First, know your stuff. The purchase of an item with unknown origins can contribute to a company or industry that exploits workers or damages the environment. So whenever possible, do a bit of research – check out ethical consumer advocacy organisations, and read some of the awesome blogs on this topic. In some cases there may be opportunity to buy products that carry reputable certifications, such as a Forest Stewardship Council badge on paper.

Another great way to learn more about what you’re getting is to ‘shop small’ whenever possible. It’s a trendy tagline, of course, but a wonderful practice. Buying from a local business means you can ask questions and receive informed answers. At Kalite, for example, we deal with just one small, family-run manufacturer in a town outside Denizli. This means we as owners have witnessed the use of their traditional techniques and met with the local women who, with great care, hand-finish each
beautiful Pestemal. This gives us and our customers confidence, knowing that our operation positively contributes to that community.

Shopping small also supports your own neighbours, and often means a reduction in transit-related costs and impacts.

Or, even better: don’t shop at all. (Funny to hear a business say that, isn’t it?)

We plan to challenge ourselves to think about how we can reuse and repurpose things in our home for 2016, and ask you to do the same. You probably already take your totes to pick up your fruit and veg, and hopefully use a KeepCup or something similar for your morning coffee. Could you bring your own containers to the tuckshop for your takeaway noodles?

Get creative, and please share with us any ideas you have. (One customer recently told us she used her Kalite Turkish towel around the base of her Christmas tree to avoid purchasing a tree skirt that would only be used for three weeks of the year – genius!)

Wishing you all sustainable and successful 2016.