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Everyday purchases that make the world a better place!

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Everyday purchases that make the world a better place!

Our buying power can do more for good than our charitable giving says Adam McCurdie, founder and CEO of Humanitix, and he says that by transforming our buying power into firepower, we can all make a genuine social impact for good.

In this Helping Hands panel discussion, Adam is joined by Prof. Kristy Muir, CEO of the Paul Ramsay Foundation; and Jess Moore, CEO of Social Enterprise Australia, to talk about ethical consumerism, and the role we can all play in helping to make the world a better place.

Ethical consumerism, Jess explains, “means making choices about what you buy and what you don’t buy in line with your ethics."

"I can choose to buy things that do good, and I can choose not to buy things that do harm. And, particularly when I do that together with other people, I can help create a better world” continues Jess.

Kristy adds that everything we purchase has an impact in real terms because what we buy and who we buy it from “affects other people and the planet. It affects the working conditions people might be under; it affects what money goes back to which communities … it affects how the environment is treated in terms of how those resources are used to develop that product.”

We, as consumers, Kristy says, will always need to purchase products and services and therefore need to choose businesses to buy from. The Paul Ramsay Foundation’s work with ethical businesses and social enterprises is two-fold. By enabling those business to thrive through financial support, it enables customers to satisfy their needs ethically.

Secondly, Kristy says, “From philanthropy’s perspective, we (Paul Ramsay Foundation) want to support people, places, organisations, communities that can enable others to thrive … putting money back into communities – everybody wants communities that thrive – where people have jobs, where their kids have things to do, where there are some employment opportunities for young people.”

But should ethical consumerism rely on philanthropy? Or government investment? Or on the passion of a few consumers to support it?

Adam says no.

“In order to sell their product and produce the impact they’re making, (many social enterprises think) they have to price at a premium. And, predictably, many consumers prefer to not pay a premium, and the business doesn’t work … (ethical businesses) need to complement the ethical side of what’s being done with a genuine competitive reason why the consumer wants to purchase your product over another competitor.”

Using Humanitix as an example, Adam says that he and his team only felt that the ticketing platform could be labelled as ‘thriving’ if it was competitive on price, product, service and donated 100% of their profits to charity.

The greater the number of successful, thriving ethical businesses and social enterprises there are, the more choices consumers have about where to spend their money, and the greater impact the destination every dollar has in making the world a better place.


See the WHY SHOULD WE CARE ABOUT ETHICAL CONSUMERISM discussion and the full catalogue of Helping Hands panels at Catch up on full episodes of Helping Hands on 9NOW.


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* Our panellists, Adam McCurdie, Jess Moore and Prof. Kristy Muir, and the Helping Hands producers are available for interview on radio, TV and online to discuss this topic. Get in touch at


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