a guest post from Alyssa and Kiera of Radiate Market
(A quick word from the bonJOY team: We were delighted to discover Radiate Market recently and instantly connected with their mission and team. Their "radiate" sticker is featured in our School Survival Kit to encourage college students to shine forth goodness.)
We’re Alyssa and Kiera, co-founders of the Radiate Market. We’re passionate about reworking mainstream consumerism to make positive social impact. In particular, we aim to encourage our fellow young people to start a generational movement towards a future where workers aren’t oppressed and treated fairly in huge factory systems. We feel strongly that it is both possible and necessary to create a more sustainable and supportive mode of consumption.
However, consuming sustainably is difficult in modern culture. Even adults with large amounts of resources struggle to find companies that sell the items they need and that have ethical business practices. As college students, it can be even more difficult to find affordable and ethically made necessities. Here are some of our favorite ways to be conscious consumers as students:
Ethically made clothing is difficult to find, often not in line with current trends, and super expensive. While it’s possible to find consciously made clothing on a budget sometimes, making a trip to your favorite thrift store is cheaper and even more sustainable! Rather than buying new things and throwing old ones away, donate unwanted clothes to your local Goodwill and restock while you're there. It’s affordable, fun, and you’ll be sure to snag a few unique finds. Most importantly, you’ll avoid creating waste out of perfectly good clothes!
2. Do your research before you buy!
Need a particular item? Take the time to find a company that makes the item well. It’s easy to walk into a Target and buy the first book bag you find, but by spending a few minutes online, you can usually find a company that makes a similar product but has a more socially/environmentally conscious mission.
3. Realize that your spending power makes a difference!
If you follow the advice in # 2 and research companies that make the items you need more ethically, chances are that the item you find is going to be a little more expensive than it would be at a store that doesn’t focus on ethical practices. However, if you choose to spend that extra ten dollars to buy an item that was made by a company that pays workers fairly, you are taking a stand for what you hold to be right.
“Every time you spend money, you are casting a vote for the kind of world you want.”
— Anne Lappe
It’s true! If we band together and support real people and communities, rather than huge corporations, we can enact huge change with our spending power.
Consuming sustainably as students can be tough, no question about it. We’re busy and we’re usually low on funds. However, if we consciously move to make sustainable consumerism a priority, we can change mainstream consumption from a positive to a negative for people all over the world.
Alyssa and Kiera
Radiate works to empower artists in developing regions by providing an online platform which will allow these creators to access a larger and more consistent market. Each artist is supported on their journey towards growth and sustainability through the selling and promoting of their products on the online marketplace, which is targeted towards socially-minded consumers. By purchasing their goods, you are helping an artisan develop a sense of financial security, a position of respect within their community, and an opportunity to radiate their true self. Buy authentically!