The Power of Ethical Consumers

NOTE: This is a guest post from our friends at Ethikus. It was originally posted on their blog.

In the political process, some people believe that their vote doesn’t matter. Thatís just wrong, as is the notion that when you “vote with your wallet” by shopping and eating at stores and restaurants that do good, it doesn’t matter.

Informed customers who care about the environment, their community and business ethics are a huge force for change. And there are a lot of them out there, like you. Whether you read product labels carefully, bring in a travel mug for your morning coffee, or take extra care to recycle, you are part of a growing segment of U.S. consumers who want to spend their money according to their values.

Part of what makes this group of people powerful is the capital they control. They can choose to reward businesses that share their values with their continued patronage, which encourages other businesses to make changes to attract them. Sustainability is rewarded and spread naturally. Sustainability becomes sustainable, from a business perspective (actually, it has been for years).

However, there are two obstacles to unlocking that power: it is hard to know which businesses have ethical and sustainable practices, so consumers who care can’t use a significant portion of their spending dollars at these establishments, and they aren’t coordinated to make a maximum impact.

Imagine if the thousands of ethical consumers in New York pledged for one week to make an effort to support the hundreds of businesses that do good with their everyday practices. The people would discover many new places to shop and eat they didn’t know about before, those businesses would get a huge boon in publicity and revenue, and other businesses, big and small, would perk up to the multiple opportunities present in “going green” and business ethics.

In a nutshell, that’s what ethikus created with Shop Your Values Week, taking place in New York City May 3-10th, and our database of local businesses that are ethical and sustainable. All it takes is a pledge.

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Photo courtesy of Ethikus.


Dale Overall

Marvellous and a fabulous way to purchase illustrating consumer wants and desires.

Terry Vanderbush
Terry V5 years ago

A more HONEST way of voting.
Too bad politics aren't the same way : )

Elaine Pequegnat
Elaine Pequegnat5 years ago

would love a follow-up story to know how the week went in New York

Jennifer C.
Past Member 5 years ago

Thank you.

Arild Warud
Arild G5 years ago


Roger Monk
Past Member 5 years ago

Good post. Thanks.

Richard B.
Richard B5 years ago

Facebook is unethical. Use Diaspora.

Don Schneider

Ethical consumers cannot be found in a Walmart store ! Period !

Ryder W.
Ryder W5 years ago

the flow of money determines the flow of power. think before you buy.

Duane B.
.5 years ago

We should all do the best we can with what we have, and that will be sufficient.