Time for Ethical Consumerism


We live in a world, which is consumed by consumerism. Just about everything under the sun has been commodified, customised and commercialised. Even natural elements like water and air have not escaped this vicious cycle.

We live in age of bottled water and oxygen bars. The buyers and sellers of every product have become very conscious of the products they are dealing with and are acutely aware of getting good value for the money they invest.

No self respecting businessman will market his products without a decent margin of profit. This phenomenon is neither wrong nor abnormal. Similarly, the buyer likes to strike a really profitable bargain while trying to buy goods at a throwaway price. The psychology of the purchaser cannot be discounted either.

This obvious observation of the market scene across the globe sounds very practical and logical to all concerned.

Yet what boggles one’s mind is the fact that the very people who strive to the point of strife calculating their value for money do not seem to bother much about values that should be ideally backing the money they spend or invest.

The businessman who concentrates on obtaining maximum proceeds utilises his money, talent, time effort and manpower to develop, manufacture and market his merchandise. Somewhere along the line he does not mind compromising on ethics to see his bank balance escalate. Corruption, red tapism, black marketing, manufacturing spurious goods, evading taxes, hoarding not to mention violation of human rights and labour laws, blind him to values like integrity.

The consumer also does not seem to realise that there is nothing called a “free lunch” and is perpetually looking out for bargains and sales little realising that he is being taken for a ride by the seller.

If the customer wants quality commodities he should learn to shed his unreasonable greed, lest he is indirectly instigates the supplier to find new ways and means of making him pay.

When people at either end of the demand and supply chain want to have a profitable bargain they must remember Khalil Gibran who said, “Invoke then the master spirit of the earth, to come into your midst and sanctify the scales and the reckoning that weighs value against value.”

The time to say no to products involving child labour, animal abuse, ecological exploitation, unpalatable working conditions and forced labour has come!

If every one of our transactions abides by this principle, life will become a profitable deal in every sense of the word

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