There are many ways to give back in our society. Purchasing fair trade items, going vegetarian, buying locally grown foods: all of these things are done intentionally. People do these things in order to be supportive of what they believe to be good causes. They put their money towards these things, even if it costs a few extra bucks, because their morality trumps the desire for convenience.
On the other side of the spectrum, there are companies that may support extremely controversial issues. Purchasing goods from these companies shows that you also support whatever they do.
Sometimes, companies are open about causes they choose to put their money and effort toward. For example, Tom’s shoes – each pair of shoes bought pays for a pair for someone in a third world country.
Nevertheless, if we look at something that has a negative connotation, and quite frankly is wrong, there is a double standard. Suddenly, when we find that we are supporting an abortion clinic through purchasing a pair of must-have jeans, we decide that our money is no longer supportive of the company’s choice. Our wants are severed from our morality.
Consumerism has gotten the best of us. As humans, we want to be able to go to the store, buy whatever we please and not have to think too much about it, much less feel guilty. After all, if our morality and money were connected, we would probably think twice about where and what we buy.
When we purchase something from a company knowing it has shaky values or promotes something we may not agree with, we are telling others that we too support what they are doing. The process of paying for a product does not stop when you receive your merchandise. It reflects in the decision to buy from the business, and the weight, or lack thereof, morals have on the decision.
We need to realize that this is not possible to separate the two. We can plead ignorance, say we did not think our choice to put our money here and there made that much of a difference. Whether we like it our not, our actions do have consequences.