10 Best Ways to Shop more Consciously and Save Yourself Time

April 22, 2021

10 Best Ways to Shop more Consciously and Save Yourself Time

Looking for a way to shop more ethically but to save yourself time as well?

With the launch of Decorator’s Notebook, we have created an innovative and central, online store that features beautiful, handcrafted pieces that are both sustainable and ethical.
Whether you decide to purchase a brightly-coloured basket from an artist in Kenya, a striking, vintage kantha quilt from one of our Bangladeshi makers or a unique and pretty piece of jewellery from India, you will have the peace of mind that you are supporting a well-deserving individual from a disadvantaged background.


With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best ways to shop more consciously and to save yourself some time, too:


Look for the labels you can trust when shopping

A sad reality of the 21st century is that sweat shops and the slave trade is still very much a part of big business.

Vulnerable people in impoverished countries are often exploited to work under extremely difficult conditions at very little pay. In fact, many of these workers earn a living which is below the poverty line, despite working long, hard hours each day.

When we do not verify the manufacturing processes behind our purchases, we run the risk of buying items that have been made by forced labour and worse.

To make sure that you are not supporting this cruel process, always look out for some key labels when shopping. The label “fair trade” indicates that the people involved in the manufacturing of your item have been paid a fair wage and work under acceptable conditions.

Our vintage sari kantha quilts are all one-of-a-kind, with a unique cotton sari on each side. Each kantha quilt is handmade by a special woman at Basha, a social enterprise that helps victims of sex trafficking in Bangladesh leave the streets and build a new life making kantha quilts. As beautiful products emerge from discarded cloth, broken lives are made whole again, stitch by stitch.

Alos, our wide selection of eye-catching sisal baskets are as vibrant as the brilliant ladies in Kenya who make them! Each basket comes with a photo label introducing you to the co-operative members who made your basket.


Support stores that use ethical suppliers

Although your favourite online store might, themselves, be dedicated to ethical business practices, do you know about the business practices of their own suppliers?

Here at Decorator’s Notebook, we have spent a great deal of time ensuring that the majority of the items we sell are fair trade. In addition, we go out of our way to source ethical suppliers, who are now brought together in one, easy virtual shop.

For instance, the chopping boards and decorative bowls that are advertised in our store are all made from sustainable wood, and we also sell recyclable cushions and cushion covers, recycled cocktail glasses, lanterns and picture frames.


Support highly skilled artisans and budding entrepreneurs in disadvantaged countries

Looking for unique gifts for your friends and loved ones or that have been ethically made?

Why not support local artisans  or buy from budding entrepreneurs in disadvantaged countries?

It can be very satisfying knowing that you are supporting a talented and hard-working artisan who deserves every penny of what you pay them. In addition, you are not supporting a large corporation whose ultimate goal might be to cut costs and take short cuts wherever possible, even if it means that the environment is harmed or workers exploited

By supporting artisans and social-enterprises from disadvantaged backgrounds, you are helping them to build their own, small businesses which can benefit their local villages and towns. In addition, you are helping to reduce poverty in disadvantaged countries and are helping to create sustainable work for many individuals.

Take a look at Decorator’s Notebook where you will find some beautifully-made and unique items from artists throughout the world. Our highly skilled artisans would also be grateful for your support. Small, local businesses tend to have a much smaller supply chain and their impact on the environment is therefore much lower than their larger counterparts.








Shop with businesses that are dedicated to preserving the environment and best work practices

Although there are many small, large and medium-sized businesses that are committed to having responsible manufacturing processes that are not harmful to the environment and do not exploit vulnerable people, there are unfortunately still those that do not behave responsibly.

If we all stand together and boycott unethical companies and show our support for responsible traders, it can make a significant difference. When large corporations notice that consumers are no longer willing to accept unacceptable working conditions and unsustainable manufacturing practices, they will be forced to make a change for the better.


Ensure that your online store uses eco-friendly packaging and delivery options

Online stores that are dedicated to preserving our beautiful planet usually always have eco-friendly packaging and delivery options. For instance, they will do their best to use biodegradable or recyclable packaging materials as far as possible and will also give you the option of multi-order deliveries to save on fuel.

At Decorator’s Notebook, once you have placed your online order, it will be sent to you using a reliable courier service and sustainable or recyclable packaging materials, as far as possible. You can track your delivery at any time and you will be delighted when you open your package to find your uniquely-crafted item!


You don’t have to sacrifice between efficiency and aesthetics

Some consumers mistakenly believe that in order to be sustainable and to shop conveniently, you sometimes need to sacrifice aesthetics or another important element.

The good news is that this is simply not true and Decorator’s Notebook has proven this wrong. Our platform brings talented artists, crafters and makers from around the globe together, all on one central website.

Here, you can browse our beautiful collections of gifts, jewellery, clothing and more.

These items are ideal if you are looking for a creative object to enhance the look of your home, a special gift for a friend or family member, or something to treat yourself.          


Ask questions, if in doubt

Not sure about the processes behind your imminent purchase? Or perhaps you are not 100% sure that that they support fair trade practices?

Whenever you have doubts or questions, be sure to ask the store or company before making a purchase. The more consumers do this, the more businesses will feel accountable and obliged to follow the best possible practices in terms of the environment, working conditions and sustainability.


Focus on quality, not quantity

Shopping is a very enjoyable activity and modern consumers tend to make several unnecessary purchases every year.

However, before clicking on the “buy” button, take a moment to consider if you really need the item or if you are just shopping because it’s fun.

If you can get into the habit of a “less is more” shopping style, you can focus on quality, and not quantity.

Objects that have been lovingly made and created using good quality components will last longer and bring you far more joy than mass-produced goods.


Know the origins of your purchases

When was the last time you knew the person behind your article of clothing, kitchen item or jewellery?

The answer will probably scare you, especially if you have always shopped at chain stores and large, online sellers.

When you know the background behind your item and the details of the person who has worked to create the object, this can make a world of difference.

As a general rule of thumb, the less you know about the origins of your purchase, the more worried you should be. We recommend looking out for suppliers and businesses that are open and transparent about their products and freely give details about who has crafted the product.

At Decorator’s Notebook, you can read all about the artist, crafter or maker behind your purchase. Within our Artisans section you will read details about the country in which the item is made, how it is made and, most importantly, a little bit about the person. 

Not only will you be supporting this up and coming artisan, but you will also have the peace of mind that your money will go a long way.



Encourage your friends and family to shop more consciously

Many people do not shop consciously because they do not know that there are unfair working conditions and practices.

If possible, try and encourage your friends and family to think twice before making a purchase and to ensure that they are supporting fair trade companies and eco-friendly businesses.

The more we speak out about these issues, the more consciously society will shop!


We invite you to browse the pages of Decorator’s Notebook to find something new and intriguing to weave into the unique canvas of your home. We love hearing from you, so please do get in touch and join us on social media to share your thoughts and inspirations.




Decorator’s Notebook is a small family business that brings together unique and beautiful home accessories and gifts from around the world available online, whilst helping talented artisans in developing countries build a brighter future.

Our virtual store is a more enjoyable way to buy something ethical and handcrafted online.


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