Fair-trade tea farmer, India. Photo: Equal Exchange

The way we spend our money speaks volumes about who we are and what kind of world we want to live in. How we use our money is profoundly influential—each dollar can be one of the most powerful tools to impact social change.

“Almost everyone I know will agree that they do not support child labor, yet only a small fraction of those consumers ensure that the products they are buying do not support child labor practices,” says Manish Gupta, Founder of Matr Boomie. “If our values are missing from a purely value-based purchasing decision, sustainable products do not stand a chance. In this time of technology and awareness, it seems like we are too slow to change our buying pattern as a society.”


Fortunately, there are some brands and people geared toward helping us make thoughtful purchases for our lifestyles, and then some. The Good Buy, one of the first socially responsible consumer marketplaces, is a prime example of what it means to live and shop consciously. Their online store is filled with incredible products ranging from sweatshop-free apparel to fair trade food—all made with the well-being of fellow humans and the environment in mind. Their mission offers consumers a socially conscious alternative for us to spend wisely, in a way that cares for our fellow human beings and the planet that sustains us.

Protecting workers’ rights are foundational to The Good Buy’s mission, broadened by their strong relationships with over 30 partner organizations, including small farmers, cooperatives, and artisans that supply the products to their marketplace. The Good Buy leverages these relationships to increase the production of and access to fairly traded goods—creating an equitable system from field to fork, from producers to consumers.

Equipped with resources from UUSC, an international human rights organization, The Good Buy can expand the reach of the people it serves. Subsequently, all proceeds from sales of ethically-sourced goods go directly towards funding social justice programs and projects administered by the UUSC.


Rosa Gonzalez, El Pinal APECAFE Cooperative farmer, El Salvador. Photo: Equal Exchange.

A good example of this added value is their collaboration with Equal Exchange, a fair-trade coffee, tea, and chocolate brand. For every pound of Equal Exchange products purchased through The Good Buy, 20 cents is donated to UUSC’s Small Farmer Fund, which is a partner fund made up of cooperatives building sustainable livelihoods and advancing human rights, particularly the rights of women, youth, and indigenous peoples. This means your spending dollars help directly support small-scale farmers who are paid a fair price for their harvests at the beginning of the supply chain. Last year alone, the total donated by Equal Exchange to the Small Farmer Fund was $12,597.48!

The Good Buy’s dedication to human rights, the partnerships they cultivate, and strong business model is 100% transparent. According to recent studies through Oliver Cabel and Zenhaven, 39% of consumers said they would switch to a new brand in pursuit of product transparency and are willing to pay more for greater transparency. 

Here’s why this is important: it means you can trust that your purchases actually can be a force for good.

The Good Buy’s transparency is impressive and infectious, just as much as their core philosophy, “Living wages and sustainable livelihoods should be cornerstones of all commerce.” To know that a company is so concerned about the future and livelihood of people is a unique value proposition. They don’t just mass-produce goods; they develop real sustainable practices and business methods that will help reshape humanity’s habits, and most importantly, offer a better way of life for many across the globe who are forced to work in horrific work environments or forced labor to survive.

We have begun, as a society, to embrace sustainable living on multiple levels. And there is no going back(!), however, it’s going to take more than a conversation to see real change occur. We hope that you will join us in committing to using our collective spending dollars wisely, supporting businesses who are doing things right.

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At Conscious, we are inspired by stories that cause us to think differently and think big-picture and so we set out to tell stories with the help of leaders and influencers within the social good community. You can read more stories like this when you join as a member.