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Do Personal Values Affect Where You Shop

Your Two Cents: Do Your Morals Control Your Money?

There are a couple of ways you can be a conscious spender. One is to pay attention to how much you're spending, and another focuses on what you're buying with your money. We're always hearing about brands that use sweatshops, have unfair labor practices or pollute the environment. Do you avoid any stores or brands because they clash with your values?


Join The Conversation
discocactus discocactus 9 years
I would love to know why people think Wal-mart is more evil than Target or Kmart or any other chain similar to it. Target pays their people the same wages as Wal-mart and most other chains of it's size. They both donate money to charities and causes... I think eventually Target will be the new Wal-Mart and eventually the finger wagging will head their way as well. Also, you never hear Target execs complaining Wal-Mart's practices with vendors and how they've changed the business that they're in...probably because they benefit too. If you're going to boycott Wal-Mart you might as well boycott any large chain like it.
live-4-gossip live-4-gossip 9 years
How can i wear a diamond knowing a child may have died for that stone? I buy organic and shop local. I try to go to the little guy if possiable. BUT sometimes you have to shop for an item that a bad store has because they are the only store in town that carries the item. If my kid is sick I will go where there is a phamacy in the middle of the night to get what they need.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
i seriously dont pay attention.
scourtneyex scourtneyex 9 years
i'm voting yes! i def avoid places that have poor business practices, whether they are poor labor practices, production, community relations, whatever the issue may be!
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
i'm typically aware of things - and depending on what the issue is - i'll spend my money elsewhere. my boyfriend however - he takes this big stand on things and gets really upset about the means in which goods are produced - yet he also complains about the high costs of the alternatives. it's like a no win with him sometimes becuase i understand why he doesn't want to buy certain things, but he has to be willing to pay the different for the option that's more 'moral' or whatever.
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 9 years
Well...another vote for "yes"! Obviously no one is perfect and not only that we can't really know what goes in to making the things we buy, but I can answer that "yes, my morals do control my money." I really think that every dollar I spend is a vote to that company that I approve of their product and/or the means used to make the product. Savvy-I noticed you caught the mistake, but is there any way Sugar could experiment with just having simple "yes," "no," or "maybe/sometimes" polls? I mean, we get to explain ourselves with our comments anyway if we need to, and so much of the time I feel like the poll is, "do you think Britney's kids should be taken away from her? Yes-Britney is really an alien from Mars, and therefore has no way to legally be a guardian of human children." Maybe you vote yes because Britney's health issues are interfering with her ability to be a good parent, but you disagree about the whole alien thing. Anyway, I know I'm being nitpicky here and you guys are just trying to be creative, but these polls are really starting to be a little strange.
looseseal looseseal 9 years
I love buying things straight from people that made them. Like clothing and things from small independent designers, food from local farms, etc. It's not just a matter of avoiding bad businesses. It'd be good to be able to avoid every business with questionable practices, but even just shifting some spending over to the good businesses will have an effect if enough people do it. As they say, money talks.
jadenirvana jadenirvana 9 years
I don't think I'm perfect but I do make an effort. Ever since I read that horrible story in The Guardian,,2200573,00.html, I do not set foot in any part of Gap Inc. Also, I buy a lot of stuff on places like where I know the sellers aren't children or indentured servants.
Smart-Living Smart-Living 9 years
I can't believe I overlooked including a 'Yes' category and apologize to those of you that shop so conscientiously. Kudos to you! xo, Savvy
wackdoodle wackdoodle 9 years
Your missing a flat out YES category. Yes, my "morals" determine where I spend my money - I do not shop at number of retailers and I do not buy a great number of products because of a companies policies and actions. Companies that put profits above people and safety do always lose my business. AS an example: I will and do spend my time and pay more and travel out of my way to go to a specific gas station because I know that the company that supplies that gas treats its workers fairly at refineries and the workers on the ships transporting the crude, and the workers in the oil field and they are making an effort to do as little destruction as possible when drilling for crude. If that requires more effort on my part then I do it. I don't care if its an apple or a t-shirt or a car or a q-tip.
amers230 amers230 9 years
i'd like to say yes, but i really don't. the only store i specifically don't shop at if possible is walmart. i'd like to say it's for ethical reasons, and a little bit is, but my family are avid sam's club shoppers and i don't seem to have a problem with that. we did just get a costco in the area so my mom and i are going to check that out hopefully this weekend. i pretty much just don't shop at walmart because i always feel kind of sleazy/dirty in there, don't ask me why. i do try to always do grocery shopping at meijers since they are a MI company, but i've never really done research on whether or not they are a good company.
Stacey-Cakes Stacey-Cakes 9 years
The only store I boycott is Walmart. After taking an employment law class last year, I was horrified by how they treat their workers and how so many of their practices violate laws.
emalove emalove 9 years
I don't shop at Walmart, that's really the only place that I "boycott". Growing up, my father always talked about how they're taking over America and destroying smaller businesses; it was just not a place that we shopped at. In recent years, hearing about the way they treat their employees has also turned me off. I much prefer Target. I'd even go to Kmart before I'd go to Walmart. I'm sure there are other stores that are "bad" to shop at too, I just don't know what they are. If I hear something about a store that rubs me the wrong way, I usually won't give them my business.
MandyJoBo MandyJoBo 9 years
OMG! There's not "yes" option. I do avoid stores with shady practices. After watching Blood Diamond, I make sure my diamonds are ethical. I even read up on companies such as Kraft and Johnsons & Johnsons. There is a website that lists companies and tells you how they treat their employees - everything from what the CEO makes to how much they donate. I forgot the name of it though. I don't buy leather unless my fiance or a friend who normally eats meat will agree to not eat meat for a month or more depending on size of item. I don't buy fur, obviously. As for companies that use animal testing, they are still more common than not, so it's harder to avoid those. And of course I'm not perfect - I don't know what company made the dye in my clothes and how ethical they are. ;)
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
This is another poll where "I don't pay attention" and "I just go where it's most convenient" are basically the same option. I was thinking there would be an option for YES but I guess I was too hopeful. Savvy, perhaps you can post some sources for us consumers that we can use to analyze how well a company fits with our morals?
AKirstin AKirstin 9 years
I do try to pay attention and spend my money in ways that heal rather than harm, but there are times when I have to be realistic and some things- like organic foods- are outside my price range, period.
mayara mayara 9 years
I do to some degree. I usually avoid Wal-Mart, but we do get some things from Sam's Club from time to time. I try to balance things based on a combination of what I know about various companies, my own values, and the convenience/price. As for other money matters, I do try to do mostly socially responsible investing for my investments, which allows me to feel better about how my money is being made. My husband and I both would rather have a little smaller budget when we retire than be filthy rich off of some types of businesses or business practices.
karisaamy karisaamy 9 years
I refuse to shop at Wal-Mart because of their practices, I actaully got a gift card there once (someone who really didn't know me) and I gave it to a homeless guy who was near the Wal-Mart. He was thrilled with it. I try not to buy things from "bad" brands, but it's hard to keep up with it.
SkinnyMarie SkinnyMarie 9 years
I am becoming more and more conscious of it. I try to avoid items made in countries that allow sweat shops. It is hard, but I will go to local stores to buy items, or be really aware of where an item is made. I have recently gotten into getting clothing from American Apparel because they make their clothing in the US (we just got them here in Pittsburgh), so every day its growing. The hardest is buying shoes that are made in the US that don't look like moccasins or are $500.
freegracefrom freegracefrom 9 years
Savvy - you didn't give us an option to say a simple "yes"! I don't shop at places that I know get their clothes made from sweatshops. I have to admit that I did get a tote from GAP recently with a giftcard I got for Christmas, but the last I heard, they seem to be getting their act together. It IS hard for everyday people like us to keep aware on things like this though. Realistically, we can't keep track of what every single corporation out there is doing. Luckily, there are a few organizations that are keeping an eye on them for us like: - CorpWatch - SweatshopWatch
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
I'll be honest, I don't really pay attention. I mean I won't go somewhere that selves fur and such but as far as other things I'm not going to avoid a store all together since it's almost impossible.
mandy_frost mandy_frost 9 years
My answer is mostly, yes. However, it is somewhat impossible to entirely avoid all "bad" stores. I think it is incredibly important to shop at only stores that support your values. I will not shop at Wal-Mart for instance, but I will go to Target which is better for a number of reasons, but it does have its downfalls as well.
chancleta chancleta 9 years
i pay some attention and try to shop in smaller places or places with good business practices but it's not a huge deal for me
i-am-elle i-am-elle 9 years
I try to be conscientious about things like this. I've stopped going to Walmart & try to avoid it as much as I can. I also try to buy things made in the U.S., but honestly I don't always check. Money plays a huge factor as well, & it's easier to go the cheaper route. But I try!
AbigailElise AbigailElise 9 years
I try not to purchase items from countries with shady labor practices. I also just read an eye-opening article about designer knock offs and the child slaves that create fake handbags, shoes and accessories. I know that a knock off Chanel bag sure looks good, but I am now vehemently against buying such items.
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