Aligning Your Purchases to Your Values

You have probably heard of people boycotting items based on personal beliefs and wondered if that actually works. Well, you can do it too, and it makes an impact! Companies listen to their consumers, especially when it impacts sales. Frequently, makeup and skincare brands become cruelty-free after backlash.

The backlash and boycotting tells companies that we care about their actions and holds them accountable for their decisions. For example, if a company that funds certain candidates see a decrease in sales and backlash based on their donations, they will stop donating to the candidate. With a few easy steps, you can align your purchases to your values. 

There are apps you can use to help you boycott what you don't support, such as Buycott. This app lets you pick from a multitude of campaigns and scan product barcodes from your phone to look at the product and company’s history. If the product you scan does not align with your values, you can check alternatives on the app too.

Another app you can use is Goods Unite Us. This app lets you see the political donations that companies make. You can even take a quiz to get your "Goods Score" (political breakdown score.) You can also look at brand's donations, compare brands within their categories and politicians’ recent funding. The app also has a section where you can look at recent news.

Not boycotting items can have a substantial impact on our environment. Things such as eating meat and purchasing leather, furs, chocolate, coffee, palm oil and diamonds can all lead to this impact. Deforestation happens because of the need for meat, as does overfishing which causes a lot of plastic pollution in the ocean due to fishing tools often falling into the ocean.

Moreover, the production of meat products also causes an influx of methane in the ozone layer. The need for palm oil causes it to be sourced unethically, which causes deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest. Unethical coffee and chocolate companies use child labor and slavery to produce their products. Diamonds can be unethically sourced in war zones, hence the name “Blood Diamonds.” You do not need to cut any of these products out of your lifestyle if you do not want to but eating, drinking or using product less once a week or checking where your products are coming from can make a huge difference.

There are some other cosmetics companies that refuse to test on animals or let a second party do it and they do not sell their products in China. You can find out which makeup lines do not by researching online (,, or or looking on the back and finding the cruelty-free sticker. You can also go further than going just cruelty-free and buy vegan makeup and skincare products.


Image credit: Garnette Ransone