So, we give away the first 10% to local charity. Obviously that money must come from somewhere, and some folks might think it's just me cranking up the prices?
Well heck yeah! Of course! I mean, of course I’m going to sell items I get from awesome brands that work so hard to come up with a quality product and the suggested MSRP (manufacturers suggested retail price) and THEN just add a bunch more to that price because no one will ever know…right? HA! Yeah right.
I can’t do that.
All of you are smart enough to know what you want, to know what its worth, and know where to find it at the price you like.
You know there is an option to do better, and you are trying. But the more you look around, and the more you learn, the more we all realize the online Amazon game makes us think price is the only thing we should grade on. I don’t believe that’s true.
A race to the bottom of who can sell the most for the least price is a first world illusion of prosperity. It is fast food, fast fashion, fast everything. Fast must be better right?
Well, if that were the case I can think of a number of burgers that come on greasy wrappers that you and I would be eating every day for dinner. But we don’t, because we know whats in it, what it took to make it, what it's doing to our body, and what it does for our food chain. We are all aware that this greasy slippery mostly synthetic but totally delicious food is crap, but we eat it because its easy and cheap.
Have you ever thought to yourself “self, I want to go out for something that tastes great, is healthy for me and tries to do good things for my community…” and then waited in a drive thru for that food? No, when you want to decide to go out for something good, it does not get delivered on a tray. That option is fast, its tasty and gives you little to no nutritional value. That fast choice completes your daily caloric intake in 3 bites and makes your face shiny. But most of all it is not good for you as an individual, our natural environment and food chain. I don’t think your clothing and personal items should be able to do those negative things either.
Don’t get me wrong, I have participated in the fast choices like everyone else, and it's always great going in, but it never leaves me feeling good long-term. That is why I'm interested in the B Corp certification. It has long-term staying power. You know that feeling you get 10 minutes after you’ve finished your drive thru meal? That gut churning lump that makes you want to burp, fart or both? It’s the same feeling I get after I walk out of any number of fast fashion places with my $6 t-shirt But as I am leaving, I remember the last 4 items I bought like this…after one wash its only fit for a 3 foot wide pixy, or someone that needs a neck hole the size of a basketball net. If the item does last a few washes and wears, there is the realization that on my back I am wearing a shirt that cost 6 dollars, made and shipped from the other side of the world…with natural fibers that need to be farmed and cultivated, dyed and sewn, packaged and shipped, labelled, handled multiple times and then sold – for a profit by a company that continues to make record profits.
How does that math add up? That’s when the realization that somewhere, someone has been screwed.
If it was not clear before, it certainly is now. The pandemic put it in full view. We are a global unit. For better or worse, we are one environment, one intricately woven economy, one collective conscience. We want unions to make sure we as workers don’t get treated badly, we want companies here at home to not dump chemicals so our waters are safe to swim and drink, we want CEO’s to not make million dollar bonuses while they downsize and ship jobs away, we want better healthcare, we want more time off, we want more money in our RRSP. We want it all. Who doesn’t? I sure as heck do! But at what cost? Who is going to pay for this? Where does the money come for that cost?
How about we CHANGE the discussion a bit, and let’s talk about value instead of cost.
We only B Corp certified brands because that certification represents companies working to meet the highest standards of “social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.”
The value of B Corp brands is addressing the cost of pollution, poverty, reuse. It is not perfect, not infallible - but very intentional. The value is that all the items at CHANGE are brands using their knowledge and compassion to make an intentional difference and are willing to be judged and graded by a third-party. There are not random claims that we find out 4 years later are false. Intentional accountability, that is the value.
The value of purchasing from CHANGE is our 10% donation of gross sales to local charity. I am trying to do my part to make an impact because I can. We all can. This is my choice. It's not a tax break…heaven knows it's not a cash grab! But it is my way of giving back to a world I happily take from.
So, you ask me how much the things cost at CHANGE. Oh, that is easy. I sell at the MSRP (manufacturers suggested retail price.) Its kind of the way most pricing is done unless you buy enough stuff to bully the manufacturer. Our cost is not more than anywhere else, but I believe the value is more.
Let me be clear, I am not condemning anyone. We all make our own choices and decisions. But, with more knowledge comes the ability to make better decisions. Better decisions mean better outcomes. Better outcomes mean better quality of life for all. Better quality of life for all means more joy and love, and you do not tell me you can’t use a little more love! Even that crusty guy in line at the grocery store that makes the weird gurgle noise when he breathes and smells of gasoline knows how good love is. His Grandma probably still makes him cookies, ‘cause she loves him.
I can tell you what the exact price of our items is, no problem. But I can’t tell you the price of being full of compassion and knowledge. There is no price on that, only value.