Rethinking Holiday Shopping to Incorporate Longevity and Sustainability
Another holiday season is upon us, and with it, an abundance of traditions that we look forward to all year — with excitement or dread or both — will begin. Amid the feasting, ice skating, decorating, and general merriment, many of us will seize this annual opportunity to dote on those we care about with thoughtful gifts.
The scale of our holiday shopping is impressive. In 2019, roughly $729 billion was spent in the U.S. during the holidays, and the average American shopper planned to spend $942 on gifts. More than 50% of money spent on gifts goes toward clothing and accessories.
While we find this level of consumerism somewhat dizzying, we can’t deny our love of gift-giving. There’s just something irreplaceable about the experience of picking the perfect gift for someone you love. But in the depths of the holiday hubbub, making quick choices rather than those that align with our values can be all too easy.
Here are some things we’ll be keeping in mind as we shop this year.
What’s the Story?
Think about the most meaningful gift you’ve ever received. There’s a good chance there was a story of some kind attached to it — a passion for the brand, a relationship to an important memory, or even an inside joke.
We like to think about stories when we purchase gifts. Some of our favorite stories are related to how a product came into being: How was the product made? What is it made out of? Who made it and where? What makes it unique and special?
When we give gifts that have stories attached, we’re proud to relay those stories to our loved ones — and our loved ones will form a more special connection to those gifts. So rather than mindlessly grabbing a product from a big-box shelf, this year we’ll look a little deeper.
Is It Harmful?
The overarching impact of our holiday shopping depends largely on not only how much we buy, but what we buy. Cheap, mass-produced products are able to exist because low prices are prioritized over the wellbeing of the planet, and sometimes workers and communities too. Giving those types of products as gifts runs contrary to everything we think gift-giving should be about.
When we do our holiday shopping this year, we’ll be thinking about the broader impact of the gifts we give. Researching every product and company can be time consuming, so here’s a shortcut: Shop at B Corporations.
From the B Corporation website: “Certified B Corporations are a new kind of business that balances purpose and profit. They are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. This is a community of leaders, driving a global movement of people using business as a force for good.”
There are now more than 4,000 certified B Corps in myriad industries from food to clothing to home goods and everything in between. You can search the B Corp Directory here to find options that are verified to be better than your average business, making your hunt for harm-free gifts significantly easier. MODHER is proud to be a thriving member of the B Corp community.
Will It Last?
Whereas most products of the past were built to last and last, many products today are created to be somewhat disposable, driving unnecessary spending and manufacturing in concert with a buildup of harmful waste. Thankfully, better businesses are crafting products from sturdy, sustainable materials that are meant to last — sometimes for generations. These are the high-value products that become part of our own stories.
Buying products that last as gifts allows us to generally avoid the possibility that our gifts will be in the landfill by next holiday season. It also allows us to feel like we’re providing something with real value to somebody who has real value to us. Sometimes, this level-up in gift giving does come with a higher per-item cost, but for us, the ultimate cost of buying disposable products is higher.
Longevity is one of the most important guideposts of MODHER’s product designs. Our bags are crafted with high-quality, durable materials, and they’re highly versatile, so our shoppers won’t feel the need to stow them away several months of the year. We hope you’ll consider our products, and the considerations above, as you shop for the holidays this year.
To help you shop your values this holiday season, we’re taking 25% off the cost of MODHER products sitewide!