Sometimes there are problems in the world that feel too big and impossible to have an impact on, but the reality is that we already have all the power and influence we need. Here’s how:
As consumers, we have immense power to shape the way businesses operate in the world. If we make demands with our wallets, even the biggest and most powerful businesses will bend to the wants and demands of its customers. Just look at Amazon.
"We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead. We're excited about this change and encourage our competitors and other large employers to join us.” – Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon
Last month, consumer demand caused a $1 trillion dollar company, helmed by the world’s wealthiest person, to pay 350,000 people (yes, you read that correctly) more money. And not just a little bit more money, but a lot more money. Starting November 1st, Amazon’s lowest wage across the US became $15/hour, which is more than double the federal minimum wage. This is no small feat, and it was driven by consumers demanding more. Jeff Bezos took inventory of his customers and what they care about, and he made a revolutionary decision to increase wages across his entire US workforce.
That is some serious power. That is our power.
As you prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday and the ensuing holiday shopping frenzy, please remember to use the power of your purchase to protect women around the world.
Here are some crazy statistics for you. 30% of annual sales occur between Black Friday and Christmas. Thanksgiving weekend (Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday) is the biggest shopping weekend of the year, which saw 174 million Americans shopping in stores and/or online just last year. 2017 Cyber Monday sales reached a record $6.59 billion, a 16.8% increase from 2016 and the largest online shopping day in US history.
We can view these numbers either as the embodiment of the consumer behavior that enables worker abuse across the fashion industry, or the power we have as consumers, and we can use our purchase power to demand more of brands.
Not sure about you, but we prefer the latter.
Here’s how to use the influence of your purchasing decisions:
- Decide to support brands that are making a positive impact in the world.
- Shop at brands that are transparent, who are actively making strides to protect workers and operate ethically throughout their supply chain.
- Demand that brands publish their lowest wages so that you can have concrete data points to inform your purchase decisions. #PUBLISHYOURWAGES
- Give gifts this holiday season that you can share a story about how the brand is protecting workers or supporting women-owned businesses or employing people from vulnerable populations. Think about the gifts you give, and give gifts that make an impact in the world.
Do you think that would change anything? We certainly do. This holiday season—we’ll say it again—let’s use our influence to make sure women around the world are protected. Let’s change the world together.