Ethical or easy on the pocket

Each one of us is struggling every now and then with morally right purchasing decisions. Should we buy a cheap piece of clothing from a foreign manufacturer, even though we know they treat their employees badly and don’t pay attention to environmental values? Or should we buy a much more expensive piece of clothing from a domestic manufacturer and support domestic production?

There are three types of human reference groups, which affect consumption. There are groups which we belong into, the groups we want to stand out from and the groups which we would like be a part of. Ethical consumption is highly dependent on personal identity, image and personal values. It may be that consumers can appreciate some of ethical aspects greatly, but on the other hand want to stand out from certain activist groups.

Although at times we would like to make a purchase decision matching our own values, we might be unable to afford those products – especially as students. During our three years of studying we have faced a number of situations when we have wanted to buy an ethically better product, but we couldn’t afford it. Thus, we have had to leave the product on the shelf, and we’ve ended up with a cheaper and less ethically correct product.

Everyone has their own view of what is ethically correct. Although many people consume ethically, their purchasing behavior is still different, because of their differing ethical values. Ethical consumption is a strong tendency among older consumers. Older consumers may be more selective and make decisions based on values, self-actualization or their desire to move better future to their offspring. (Müller 2011, 32.)*

We encourage everybody to try to make purchasing decisions ethically. Start by making your everyday decisions based on your own ethical values. Even the smallest decisions are important when they are put together.


Written by Teo& Heikki

This entry was posted in Values. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Ethical or easy on the pocket

  1. Surely everybody would rather buy products based on ethical values. However, how can we really be sure that the the product are more ethical?

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