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  • Writer's pictureMichaela A de Guire

Every Purchase Counts

Updated: Apr 16, 2023

I believe it is my responsibility as a human being to support other human beings. I can do this through small acts of kindness, leaving a larger than usual tip for a waiter or waitress, holding the door for a stranger, choosing to purchase with a small business, etc. There are numerous ways one can show support to another. However, as a Roman Catholic I believe it is my responsibility to fully understand and grasp the core values of each company, big and small, before shopping with them. If they do not align with my core values and beliefs, of which are in alignment with the church, then I simply do not shop or do business with them.

The core values of the Catholic Church include the life and dignity of the human person, the rights and responsibilities of every human person, stewardship of God’s creation, the principles of fidelity in relationships, sacredness of marriage, and the sacredness of family. These are the basic core values of the church. It is through these lenses that I look to see if a company aligns with my values.

Thus, any business that is for something that blatantly goes against any one of these values is removed from my places to shop. And the list is ever changing as businesses share who or what they support. However, at the same time there is a growing number of small businesses (some Catholic, among others) that are taking a stand in what they believe is right, which align with the church's teachings. These businesses offer things from coffee, clothes, to home goods, and so much more. Every earthly need is taken care of.

It is important to research the product and the company you are supporting because as a Catholic, as a Christians, even as a human being we are sharing our wealth with another every time we make a purchase, no matter how big or small. When we share our wealth it is our responsibility to know, understand and either agree or disagree with the company's core values and beliefs.

If you intentionally support a company that goes against the Catholic church, against God’s will, such as a company that supports abortion, then you have a hand in abortion. If you knowingly continue to support such a company, can you honestly go to confession and be fully forgiven?

When you forgive someone you might expect them to stop doing whatever it is they did that hurt you. So do you think God will forgive you if you do not try to change your behavior? He is a forgiving God, but He also loves us too much to leave us with this awful behavior. But we must first be sorry and have a willingness to not do this sin again, thus we must not shop with that company until they stop supporting abortion.

An example of such was a few years back, okay maybe a few more years then a few (because I was a child when this occurred) would be when a particular company that sells dolls announced they were supporting abortions. I ceased shopping with them. I suppose they forgot who their target market was (um, little girls, they need little girls to survive unless they planned on changing their business model in twenty years).

As Catholic’s, Christians, ah forget it, as human beings it is our responsibility to live as Christ did. This means to serve through supporting, through the sharing of our wealth. We are to give witness to the Truth and do all things in His name. That means investing, supporting, and sharing the resources God has bestowed on us with others.

During the creation God created all things out of nothing, each preceded the last. Thus, each was better than the thing before it. God finished with man and woman. And they are the only creations that were created in the image and likeness of God, thus, we as man and woman have a Spirit, a Soul that lives for eternity.

God entrusted all of creation to us to care for and use. Gen. 1:28 says, “And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Thus, we have the principle of stewardship. We are morally obligated to respect the natural environment and our own body's, mind, and spirit, thus, your own well being. We are to treat ourselves and others as precious gifts of God. We are instructed to use these gifts wisely in accordance with their design and purpose. Thus, to improve the environment and our own well being. Catechism #2417

My shopping habits have shifted over the years but my biggest pivot occurred while I was studying fashion. As I was studying fashion design I learned that the fashion industry was not what I had fantasized it to be. My fairytale fashion industry resembled the early to mid 1900’s, where a designer would create amazing pieces and women would come from all around to wear the brand name without the brand name actually being written across the garment (as it is today). Women could actually tell what designer created what because they knew the designer's tastes and dislikes.

Today's fashion industry, the fast fashion industry, scares the heck out of me. It was while I was studying fashion that I discovered I had no interest in being a part of the fast fashion industry, as it is today. To become a designer and continue spinning the wheel that just causes the world to feel sick, to act hurtful toward other human beings.

After school I was looking for new ways to support the world and I don't mean just the “earth” and maintaining it because that is part of our job as Christians, as Catholics we are called to stewardship. God gave the world, the earth and everything on it to us to protect and use. Maintaining the earth is our responsibility, but we must also care and respect the people on the earth (and those who are no longer with us) as they are our responsibility as well, our fellow human beings, our neighbors.

You are supporting them every time you pay for something. That money is not going to just materials and the costs to produce. It's going for labor, it's going to help support a family. It’s going to feed a baby.

And thus, after school I began my journey to becoming more diligent in my understanding of my faith and the ways in which I am to be a responsible human being. I became more and more intentional about where I shop and how I shop because I wanted to make sure I was actually doing my job as a human being and supporting fellow human beings on this earth. I wanted to make sure I was being a good example, for my siblings, friends and family, and all those who are watching what I do.

When I am discerning whether to shop with a company I look into their core values, the quality of the product, where they source their materials, the employee health, the transparency of the company, and the founders and/or the CEO’s values. If for any reason I am not comfortable with what they say or do I simply find another place to shop.

Now I am sure you are wondering “Where do you shop Michaela?” Well, I shop at places that not only say and share and show and actually live what they say through ethics and cleanliness and paying their employees, etc.. but I really do some digging before I choose to shop with any company. I do the research because I want to make sure I don't offend God in any way, shape, or form. So I ensure that the places I shop follow the guidelines of the church and the Bible and are in alignment with my values.

A few places I shop (since I wrote this) include Bite, Pact, Mary Kay cosmetics, 7 weeks coffee, Native, Function of beauty, Thirdlove, Duluth Trading, Hobby Lobby, Jamie Leigh Art. I think you get the idea.

I choose to shop at these places because I want to follow the core values of Catholic church. I believe in respecting the dignity of all human beings, that includes the workers, in every category, farmers, manufactures, truck drivers, shop keepers, etc. I want to make sure I am stewarding the wealth God has bestowed on me with those who will continue to pass it on in the same way.

So where do you shop? How do you decide who to shop with? Who to support?

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