Slow Purchasing is also referred to as Slow Money. Much like the Slow Food movement, there is a Slow Money movement, founded by American Woody Tasch. Woody founded the Slow Money Institute and has invested over $55 million to small food enterprises in the US and worldwide. He is a thought leader in patient capital (willing to wait longer for the return), mission-related investing and community development venture capital. Slow Money is an initiative that is changing lives and community in a huge way.
Our fast-paced world is very much geared towards accumulation, investing, buying, wanting, bargain hunting and needing more and more and more. We all have been drawn into the SALE and BARGAIN signs, our brains somehow send of happy endorphins and off we go unconsciously spending. There is nothing wrong with bargains and spending money, but it is more about our thought process, intentions and actions around purchasing things.
Adopting slow purchasing principles is where you keep in mind things like locality, sustainability, fair trade, longevity, organic, low impact and community.
Personally, we have had a huge shift in our money mindset over the last 2 years. It has been an amazing journey to really dig deep into the beliefs about how we view and spend our money. Anyone grow up hearing the words “Money is evil” “Retail Therapy” or “Money doesn’t grow on trees”? We carry those thoughts with us into adulthood and how we view, talk and feel about money has the potential to greatly impact society and our environment, negatively or positively.
Here are some more thoughts around Slow Purchasing.
Imagine the impact if 50% of our income was invested locally? Where possible, investigate where you can source what you need locally. Even if you are not getting the very best price, you are making a greater impact by supporting local business.
Ethically Made & Fairtrade
Sweat shops and child labour is a tragedy and it is a reality that some big renowned brands use sweat shops to make their products. I have emailed companies before, asking them the question “What is their Ethical Buying Policy”? If no response or a blank face, I don’t buy from them. You will know the companies that care, as they will be able to answer that question confidently. Fairtrade advocates fair prices, decent work conditions and empowering farmers and producers. You can look for the Fairtrade logo, or simply ask the questions.
Be willing to wait longer and save for something you want. It is easy to get roped into “interest free” repayments to buy something instantly, however it is much more fulfilling to wait, save and pay outright for something you want to purchase. Our first experience of this was 5 years ago when we needed to buy a new car. We researched what we wanted and a saving plan was in place. We could have got a loan, however we saved like crazy for months and drove the old car till it’s dying day and walked into the car dealership and paid cash for our new car. How amazingly satisfying and empowering that was!
Longevity in Mind
Let go of the “quick fix” mentality around purchasing. Fast fashion and cheap products are a huge environmental issue. Land fill is sadly filled with stuff people throw out the second it is broken or out of fashion. When you are buying, consciously think ahead, will this product last and serve you well? And if you ever need to discard of anything, see if you can give it away, recycle or on sell.
Find Your Tribe.
It is so important to hang with people who are on a similar journey so you can support and encourage each other. We live in a world where it is easier to rush out and buy something from an open all hour’s shop, than picking up the phone and asking to borrow something from a friend. Sadly, a culture of independence is brewing, where we don’t want to ask or interrupt our busy friends lives. Seriously if you need a red t-shirt for sports day next week, ask around and borrow one, rather than buying a cheap sweat shop one!
So, folks, thank you for reading my Slow Series. Together we are making a positive impact to our world and I love journeying with you.