Back before I became a non-consumer I considered information about corporate misdeeds overwhelming. It seemed like every company was doing something it shouldn't. I mean I couldn't just STOP SHOPPING, could I? So I might as well just keep shopping everywhere. They're all bad, but what can I do?
And then one day the lightbulb turned on and I realized that yes, in fact, I could just STOP shopping. So I did.
Now, I'm not going to tell you that you SHOULD boycott Target. That's your own business and you have to base that decision on your own political, moral, and ethical beliefs. I will say that, in my personal opinion as a bleeding heart liberal, I think Target may have cuter clothes than Walmart, but it ain't much better from a progressive politics point of view. Target's recent political donation was one instance in a larger stream of troubling actions.
As I said, my opinion on Target is based on my liberal bias, a position I certainly don't expect everyone reading this blog to share. However, if YOU want to boycott Target, but aren't sure if you can, well then keep reading.
Because I am here to tell you that you most certainly CAN boycott Target.
"How?" you may be wondering. "How can I boycott TARGET? They have everything. Especially cute purses. And they are so conveniently located in the urban/suburban environment where I live, unlike Wal-Mart which is easy to boycott because it's not located anywhere near me!"
It's true that Target has everything. It's very true that they have cute purses. Nonetheless, I promise you that if you want to, you can do it.
Here are my tips for avoiding Target:
1) Stop shopping. Okay, kidding. I know that it's not totally realistic to expect everyone to stop shopping. But seriously, it can be done. Just ask Megan. Or Colin. Or Katy. Or even me! Even if you don't stop shopping you can seriously limit your shopping. I typically don't buy something without several weeks (sometimes months) of consideration. You will be amazed by how much you don't actually NEED. Like that cute purse.
2) Shop Craigslist. And thrift stores. And eBay. And Amazon Marketplace. You will be amazed by how many awesome used things you can find for super cheap. Even cute purses!
3) Use (some) of the money you've saved from buying less and buying used to support local businesses. The sad truth is big box stores like Target can often afford to charge much less than your local mom and pop. But if you're saving money by consuming less, you can also afford to pay a little more on the few things you DO end up buying.
4) Do your homework. Are there big companies with good practices who you are willing to support? For example, Costco has been profiled as a company that is good to its employees. If so, shop there.
5) Don't go there. Or near there. Avoid temptation by not driving past Target every day. Out of sight, out of mind.
As for me, yeah, I probably won't shop at Target. Although I do love their purses.