Though it seems like it started earlier than usual this year. I've already seen a few early Black Friday sales and one "Green Friday" sale, whatever greenwashing craziness that is...
I know most of us will probably buy something this season, so here are some general tips with links for more details.
- Only buy new if it makes sense. You really need it, you're sure it's something the other person will really like, etc. Make sure it's for a good reason and purpose, that it is something that will be used and appreciated for years, or eaten if it's food :)
- Buy Quality. Consider the product: does it have good reviews, is it well made, will it last? Consider the company: who are they, where is the product made, what materials are in the product? These questions are important for you, to make sure you get something good and safe. They're also important for the health and well being of everyone involved in making the product, and for ALL of the living beings on this planet really. What you CHOOSE to buy can make a BIG difference in the world.
- If you have young children or pets, for their safety avoid EVERYTHING made in China, particularly anything they *might* put in their mouth. Many jewellery items, clothing and purses contain lead, cadmium, phthalates and other dangerous chemicals, at levels MUCH higher than what's allowed in Canada. (SHEIN, AliExpress, Zaful haul: Toxic chemicals found in some clothes)
- To avoid toxic chemicals, avoid products made in China. Particularly, cosmetics, makeup, anything metal like jewellery, brightly colored objects (dyed or painted) and fake leather products. Also avoid waterproof items like raincoats and umbrellas, and vinyl or plastic items. This is due to various chemicals at dangerously high levels, including cadmium, lead & phthalates.
- Buy Direct. Counterfeit products are surprisingly common online. (Counterfeit crackdown: Testing Walmart, Amazon, eBay, AliExpress and Wish) If you buy counterfeit products you're supporting organized crime, and you're likely to get something poorly made with toxic chemicals. So it's best to buy products directly from the manufacturer or from a reputable store in real life. For designer products, consider buying secondhand and pre-loved items from a business that verifies items as authentic.
- If you care about the working conditions and the treatment of the people making the products, consider avoiding anything made in China (potentially slave labour). Overseas in general is questionable, but so is LA. (The hidden price of your clothes)
Generally speaking, made in Canada is good, but read the fine print. Make sure it is MADE in Canada, not just designed here. I learned doing local artisan & craft markets and Canadian fashion shows that "local" isn't always so local. At the markets & shows I attended that claimed to be Canadian and local, about half of the products were actually made outside of Canada.
I hope these tips will help you make good choices for your holiday spending. Of course, I also encourage you to check out my online store, where you'll find lots of items designed by me and made in Canada. :) I will be posting some new artwork and items in the next couple of days too.