Do the Products You Buy Reflect Your Values?
In a previous blog, I wrote about how important it is to me that my wife and I get to run a business that’s in line with our values.
I really mean it when I say that. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
One thing that I’m truly proud of, and that reflects our values in both a material and symbolic way, is the fact that we make products that are built to last a lifetime and beyond.
It’s easy to take aim at consumer culture and to criticize it for being materialistic and wasteful. Plenty of people have voiced that opinion loudly and repeatedly. Yet for some reason, even as we criticize consumer culture, we tend to go on buying mountains of cheap, replaceable, disposable garbage.
Why? Is it because we’re all hypocrites? I don’t think so.
Part of it is just a force of habit. We continue consuming the same way we always have — wastefully, spending our money on soulless, mass-produced “goods” — because in a sense we’re programmed to do so. Programmed by advertising, by the behavior we see around us, and even by our own past buying habits.
This bothers me on a deep level because there are so many things wrong with it.
First, the obvious: it’s terrible for the environment. When you buy cheap, disposable goods, all of that stuff eventually ends up in a landfill. Or worse, in the ocean. And the cheaper and more disposable it is, the quicker it ends up there.
But I think it has a negative effect on us personally as well.
I don’t think we’re defined by the things we own — not at all, in fact. I think we’re defined by the effect that we have on the people around us, especially those who are most important to us.
But I do think that the quality of the things we choose to invest in has a real effect on the way we think and feel about ourselves and about our lives.
It’s as if by choosing to buy a never-ending string of cheap, disposable items, we’re saying that we think that’s all we deserve.
Maybe a better way to put it is this: the things that we choose to surround ourselves with don’t define us, but they do in some sense reflect who we are.
Which raises a really important question: Do the products you buy reflect your values?
It’s something that a lot of us never bother to ask. And maybe you’ve never put much thought into it.
It’s something that I had to ask myself when I started Fifth & Cherry. Does what we do reflect my values? Does it reflect our values as a family?
I can proudly say that it does.
Part of this is the fact that every step involved in creating our boards is done by hand. No two are alike. When you purchase a Fifth & Cherry cutting board, you’re declaring your support for artisan craftsmanship. That means a lot to us to be able to say that.
Each board is made in America, by American workers, and each one goes through our proprietary 28-step process to create a beautiful, functional work of art that is guaranteed to last forever.
We use only 100% ethically sourced, FSC® certified American Black Cherry wood from Northern Pennsylvania and New York. Our materials are renewable, responsibly harvested, and completely safe to use as a food preparation surface for you and your family.
How do you try to match your daily behaviors to fit your values? Drop us a line on Facebook or email us directly and tell us about it. We love hearing things like this from our community because it truly inspires us and drives us to be better.