Increasingly Aussie consumers are falling into the trap of ‘mindless shopping’ – that unquenchable thirst for more and more stuff to improve our lifestyles but which only leaves us wanting more.
Sydney entrepreneur Judith Treanor who is the owner of an online store with a difference is calling on us to become conscious and mindful shopper to avoid the pitfalls of spending too much on stuff we don’t need.
“We’ve all been guilty of buying something on impulse, often because someone else already has it, or their advertising convinces us we need it, but then it ends up sitting in the cupboard for months before we end up getting rid of it,” said Ms Treanor.
“Especially as we approach Christmas and people start to panic about what gifts they need to buy, instead of wasting money on disposable goods, this year maybe shop with your head,” she said.
“Imagine a world where we only bought what we truly needed, and then bought items that had a positive story behind them.”
“Whenever we buy something it has a flow on effect – both in our need to work harder to pay for it, but also for those involved in their manufacture.”
“It’s simply no longer acceptable to keep filling our homes with endless amounts of disposable rubbish that ends up in landfill. We need to think about where these goods come from.”
“More often than not the people who are forced to make the products we buy are in sweatshop conditions in Asia.”
“It’s not acceptable and we can no longer pretend not to know where products come from.”
“I wanted an alternative. I wanted to be able to buy jewellery, bags, home furnishings and know where they come from and the story behind each item.”
“That’s why I set up TemplesandMarkets.com – to give others the opportunity to buy unique, amazing, one-of-a-kind products but also know they are helping people less fortunate than us.”
“I want us to be consumers with a conscience.”
Ms Treanor said conscious shopping had many benefits because:
- Ethical shopping can change lives- when you buy a product which is hand-made in South East Asia you are truly impacting on the lives of the people behind that product. They are made by small groups of women who are working in their local communities to support themselves.
- Buying from poorer countries doesn’t have to be cheap rubbish– The hand-made jewellery, bags and home furnishings from South East Asia are not just beautiful but they are great quality too.
- Invest in something unique and wonderful that you can cherish for years- Instead of filling your wardrobe with disposable junk, invest in a unique and beautiful piece of clothing or jewellery that you know you will have for years.
- It can change your life too- we all like to think we are doing the right thing and by shopping ethically you can do that.
Inspired by the stories of the wonderful women she met while travelling around South East Asia, Ms Treanor set up Temples and Markets last year.
Her aim is to tempt shoppers away from cheap, disposable items which end up in the landfill and encourage people to buy wonderful, hand- made products with a different story behind every item.
“It’s not just the uniqueness of the exquisite jewellery, hand crafted leather bags or home furnishings but it’s the story behind these amazing products that is truly inspiring,” she said.
“Rany, a Cambodian woman who was outcast from her family and struggling to survive on the streets of Siem Reap was the inspiration behind my website.”
“She began making jewellery from seeds she found growing locally. Now she’s employing seven local women who make this stunning jewellery all by hand.”
“It’s a great feeling to know that once you buy one of these beautiful pieces you are truly changing someone’s life and helping women like Rany and their local communities.”
“That’s what being a consumer with a conscience is all about and that’s why I set up my store to ensure people who shop there can see the real difference they are making,” said Judith.
Natalie O’Rourke is a consumer expert and says that more and more people want to be ethical consumers and know the story behind the goods they purchase.
“There’s been a real shift in recent years towards ethical shopping,” said Ms O’Rourke.
“Everyone wants to feel like they are doing their bit by helping those less fortunate. Temples and Markets is a great outlet for ethical consumers.”
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About Judith Treanor and Temples and Markets
Judith Treanor is originally from the UK and moved to Sydney in 1997, travelling around South East Asia on her way. This is where she fell in love with South East Asia and all then creativity of its local people. She set up Markets and Temples in January 2015 to bring some of that creativity to Australia. Further information can be found at www.templesandmarkets.com.au