Practical computer tips, with a smattering of digital philosophy
Socially responsible alternatives to Amazon.com
December 26, 2011Posted by on
There seems to be an unwritten natural law that corporations beyond a certain size must engage in highly unethical behavior of one form or another. Sadly, Amazon.com is no exception, as demonstrated by recent revelations about the way it treats its workers and its ongoing campaign to interfere with the political process in various states.
In response to Amazon’s behavior, I have begun looking for alternative shopping hubs that are at once more socially responsible, but also do not ask me to sacrifice too much in the way of selection, convenience, or savings. Believe it or not, I’ve had a fair amount of success, and have managed to stay almost completely Amazon-free throughout the holiday season. Here are a few of the sites I’ve uncovered, to which I’ll be returning frequently until Amazon decides to clean up its act:
Better World Books (Books)
This site is simply extraordinary, matching or exceeding Amazon on nearly every practical metric (selection, pricing, speed, etc.) while also expressing a firm committement to making the world a better place in multiple ways. As the website puts it:
Better World Books uses the power of business to change the world. We collect and sell books online to donate books and fund literacy initiatives worldwide. With more than 8 million new and used titles in stock, we’re a self-sustaining, triple-bottom-line company that creates social, economic and environmental value for all our stakeholders.
Wayfair (Home furnishings):
The socially-beneficial bona fides of this group aren’t quite as obvious, but they at least seem to genuinely care about their workers’ well-being – and their workers, in turn, seem to be a pretty socially-conscious lot.
I’ll post more as I find them!
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