Paris is Burning…Wait, what?!

Honestly, I do not know how I know this song but it has been in my head since I woke up this morning.

Do you also have songs popping up that you’re not really sure how you know them in such detail?

This reminds me of subliminal messages in publicity (which, now that I think of it, might have been where I picked up this song). When I do go for that higher end shampoo or brand yoghurt I do wonder why I am doing it! I am glad I don’t own a tv anymore so less exposure to that well crafted art of seduction.

But on the other hand I do spend a lot of time online, reading blogs for instance. In this day and age, those who ignore the power of consumer choice and word-of-mouth are doomed!

Take my Aeronaut, for example.

Beautiful isn’t it? It packs a bunch of things and it’s carry-on. Besides, it’s grellow!

All the things in my aeronaut on my trip to Toronto

Perfect for anyone who does not want to wait around the luggage area wondering whether their bag was sent somewhere else or left behind. The materials are top notch and the company is that sort of retailer that you do not mind buying from (if you, like me, are allergic to consumerism) because you know they’re good people!

But how do I know Tom Bihn? And why do I think they are “good people” and am, therefore, happy to support their products? After all, it’s a US company and I am particularly allergic to those for their usual “principles” of “all for one and none for all”.

The answer to both those questions is word-of-mouth or, perhaps more accurately, word-of-blog. I choose the blogs I want to be exposed to under a series of personal preferences including similarity of life-style and principles. Most of the bloggers I read, I identify with somehow. If they mention a product it may just be that I am also the target for that product.

This was what happened with my Aeronaut. I read a blog written by other academic women who had the same issues I did with academic trips and obsession with organized packing. They mentioned their Tom Bihn products several times and I eventually went to check it out.

If it wasn’t for internet, Tom Bihn would never make it as a small, local business. It would have to become a major corporation or perish.

On my side of things, I found a company I am ok with because they care about their products, they care about the environment, and they care about their workers. In a world where more and more products are the result of abuse and disrespect for fellow humans and environment (take Nike’s cheap and child labour for example, or the Harshey’s abuses of US guestworkers program), it’s more and more difficult to find products that someone with a conscious and a knowledge of individual impact in the whole, feels happy buying.

I always want to know where things come from, who they are supporting and what they are affecting. And if there’s something the internet gave us to some extent was freedom of choice and a greater consumer awareness.

With Tom Bihn, I am confident I am supporting something good. I mean, they are even supporting cork production and some of you will know that is a major issue for me! I believe it’s not only a true example of a product with sustainable development but also a source of economic growth for my country. Too bad I seem to be the only one to think that and besides my consumer power, nothing else in my opinion counts…


About Rita BA

I read, I write, I think, I dream, I write a bit more...
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