Women love to shop. Even those of us who rather get our leg hairs lasered than go shopping admit it feels good to wear something fresh off the rack. It makes us feel prettier, confident and more put together.
It’s even better if that said rack has some sort of discount sign affixed to it. That much sought after shopper’s high ignites when you see the “sale” sign on THAT dress. You peek inside the back of the neck scoop and see that magic little (of course its little) number that marks your size. You look over that sweet drape of cotton/rayon goodness in approval.
Who cares if it doesn’t fit JUST RIGHT, you pretty much stole it at that price and it feels SO GOOD that you go celebrate at the Cinnabon next door. (You buy the small ones of course)!
So that Cinnabon might make the dress fit a little less than “just right” but who cares? It was only $17.99 marked down from $30, marked down from $58. Well done faithful shopper!
This shopper’s high is experienced by millions of frugal mom shoppers who LIVE for these kind of finds. It feels good to save money AND look awesome doing it. Aside from, you know, clothing our bodies and the bodies of the littles in our homes—finding great deals make us feel like good stewards of the resources we have.
It’s the “I got it at Ross” feeling when people compliment you on your outfit and you proudly declare that you got 116 pieces for only $29. Good job mama who is trying to stretch a dollar so she can save up for that summer vacay!
But I want to ask a question.
What if you learned that the person who made that “great find” dress doesn’t make enough money to feed her three children? She leaves her 9-year-old daughter to take care of the younger two all day in her tiny makeshift home.
What if the hang tag shared this young mom’s photo and explained how close she was to giving up all three to a local orphanage hoping that her children have a chance to thrive?
Would you refrain from buying the dress?
Would you call the brand and demand they pay her more for her 10-hour shifts?
What would you do?
I know. You hate me for bringing this up. I don’t want to step in the way of your savvy shopping. I really don’t. But every garment, accessory, pair of shoes we buy has a story and chances are, it’s not one you want to hear. Because it would break your heart.
I know your intentions are good. You search for that bottom line deal because you want to save and perhaps use those savings to do meaningful things.
But is there a better way to shop?
As Christians, we are called to be good stewards of our money and we often equate that with tithing and saving. But what if we looked at shopping as a way to bless others, too?
Yes! We get things for ourselves but what if we knew that this mother of three was able to send her littles to school and keep her family together because the company she works for believes in more than just the bottom line?
Would you buy that dress and pay the full $58. Sure—you wouldn’t be able to have 29 dresses hanging in your closet but you’d have a handful that you would be proud to wear because you KNEW your purchasing power was literally saving
I don’t know about you, but I think this sort of ethical shopping is more in line with my Christian principles.
He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God. Proverbs 14:31
Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31:9
Do not take advantage of a hired man who is poor and needy…. Deuteronomy 24:14
I’m not asking you to go “radical” and blow the dust off your grandmother’s sewing machine. Homemade pillowcase dresses can only take you so far people!
I’m asking you to take a look at some alternatives. You’ll be surprised to learn how many companies are rethinking the bottom line and incorporating fair trade principles that are more socially and ecologically sustainable. I know these words don’t really mean a lot to most of us, but thinking about that single mom struggling to keep her kids should mean SOMETHING.
There is SOMETHING that all of us could do.
A million small pushes is better than ONE giant shove by one person. Let’s do this together!
Here’s a good place to start to learn about companies daring to go against fast fashion……
Want to start with the basics? Click here!