I’ve been recommending “things” for years … I have written “favourite things” columns in many print magazines and online publications (before everyone had blogs of their own). I currently write for TWIC member, Sam Stedman‘s EcoParent Magazine (USA) and have migrated the content from the long running “Borden Big List” into TWIC, sharing one of my Favourite Things every Wednesday here. Megan and I take GREAT pride and care sharing what we’d love you to read, wear, drink from, clean with, eat, cook and do … and, what we ask in return is that you check back often, as we are constantly adding to and refining our archive, and sometimes, sadly, we have to remove items from it too.
That’s not an excuse, it’s a fact.
And, unfortunately not all shifts and changes are for the better.
Part of the challenge with online “evergreen” content is that perspective and posts remain, but the referrals to products and people … and the values, ingredients, and quality of service of the brands we refer to are not necessarily “evergreen”.
My favourite chocolate bars 10 years ago were not the same as my favourite chocolate bars 20 years ago … my standards changed dramatically during that time, I was just learning about ingredients and healthy choices, and at the time, was creating my own food rules. But, over the most recent years, my favourite chocolate bars have changed based on the companies themselves … new brands, the people, and the ingredients. My standards are raised based on what I learn and what becomes available, and some brands makes changes that force me to make change as well.
+ A small organic brand is bought by a big company (and I would always rather support small)
+ A brand decides to scale and abandon their values to make money rather than commit to the “long game”.
+ Someone who claims to be all-organic/kind starts using – or was always using – conventional ingredients (it’s one thing to be upfront about your ingredients, and quite another to be dishonest and deliberately misleading – I call it Healthwashing)
+ A new brand starts doing things even better than a current favourite (like when a small-scale organic company also switches to glass packaging from plastic, or an eco-fashion brand adds kids size to their collection, or a product or service becomes available globally in an efficient way)
+ A company I love starts using an allergen and needs to be taken off of my list, or a brand stops using an allergen and can be enthusiastically added to my list
+ A company compromises on the integrity of their product, service, customer experience, or their quality (as was our experience with our web host that caused us to change our host for our Borden Communications website and all of our projects, and referrals to our clients as well).
+ I choose to support a new small business or an underdog (since I was in that position in 1994, and love to extend my support to others – I know that I would have valued that kind of help myself when I was starting out)
In my 28+ years in business, I’ve changed (hopefully it’s for the better), and I have been witness to so much positive change (and unfortunately much negative that outrages me), but it’s also in the eye of the beholder.
My list is ever-changing because it has to be.
We have to be.
Learn and unlearn.
Know and don’t unknow.
Be nimble and adaptable.
It’s not necessarily easy, but it’s so worth it.
I would LOVE to only add “good” to my list, rather than having to remove, but it’s probably an equal balance of additions and removals most weeks.
The key is to always have an open mind – and open eyes. Question everything and use the answers to make your most informed decision about who you want to support, work with, and purchase from … every dollar you spend tells that company or person to keep making more, or doing more of the same, so spend (and refer) wisely.
Here’s to Empathy Economics!