Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Buycott vs. Boycott

This year has been a journey.

Since reading Notes from a Blue Bike back in January, I can't help but shake the ideas that Tsh presents. It has shaped my year in so many ways - which will hopefully become more and more evident on my blog about intentionality.

One of the many ideas I keep returning to is that "the beautiful thing about living a slower, richer life is that you can impact others in the most surprising ways" (212).  I've struggled with inferiority in this sense - thinking that there's no way I can "change the world".  In recent months, I'm realizing that I can, just not how I once thought...

Ann Voskamp takes some of these ideas in a very personal direction in the prologue, "to realize that the real hidden cost of everything you buy--is how much life it cost you to get it" (xx).  I've mulled these ideas over and over this year - realizing that it costs ME something. It costs my FAMILY something. But beyond ourselves, it costs OTHERS something - in the supply chain that gets goods to my house: from the fields to production to delivery (we live in a rural area), and many other points in between. No matter how much of a "good deal" I can score, somewhere, somehow, it has cost something and perhaps even scarier, it might just have cost someone

As a result of all of these new ideas, I have been looking for options for our family that are more ethical. I'm searching for ways to bring at least some of our purchasing closer to home to support our local farmers and producers. I've been researching ways to live life with more intentionality, instead of simply getting the biggest and best deal I can find. Some of those areas include:
  • healthier food options, grown as close to home as possible (Thanks Animal, Vegetable, Miracle - Barbara Kingsolver!) - but we still eat bananas,
  • "cleaner" skin care products, and 
  • ethical clothing and other goods (toys, etc)
It was while searching for ethical clothing options in Canada that I happened upon MEC's site, and I learned the term "Buycott" -
We favour the "buycott" method of social reform over the traditional boycott method. The latter closes communication, builds fences, and in reality does little to advance human rights. Workers receive no support from the companies who boycott Chinese factories. Instead, the more effective "buycott" uses the supply chain and larger orders to reward suppliers who practice good human rights. By sourcing in China we're able to monitor factories, empower workers, and share our views with their management. -Why Do You Source from China?
I have long been a fan of MEC and their products (check out my "Travelling with Baby K" series) - but now I have some more reasons to love them, thanks to their stance on Ethical Sourcing.
And while yes, we are only one family, we "do life" with many other families. I have this blog. We do in fact have voices within this world - perhaps voices that carry a little further than I once realized. We can use our buying decisions to BUYCOTT instead of BOYCOTT, and hopefully encourage those around us to do the same. 

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