13 October 2012

Socially Conscious Shopping

This post has been a long time coming. I haven't really been sure how to put into words my argument because I think its best talked about in conversation.
My partner Morgan and I have challenged ourselves to be more socially responsible with where we shop.
Basically there is a dangerous duopoly in Australia's marketplace. The two companies concerned are Woolworths and Wesfarmers. These companies boast some pretty impressive stats. Woolworths is the largest retail company in Australia and New Zealand, it is the largest food retailer, largest takeaway liquor retailer and largest hotel and poker machine operator in Australia. Guess who is coming second?

I don't know about you but I don't feel entirely comfortable about funnelling all of my money into the two largest companies in Australia, it just doesn't sit right, and you don't need to have a degree in economics to know it aint right.
Isn't it eery going into a small town (i could stop there) and noticing that there are no independent businesses anymore? The old bakery, butchers and grocery store have now been replaced with a coles express, the old bottle shop is now a BWS. The old fuel station is now a caltex. They are all uniform, no different to the Coles, BWS and Caltex in the next town over. They stock sub-par vegetables and mainstream alco-pops, but nobody cares because THEY ARE SO CHEAP! How are they so cheap? Because they have the market by its balls. They muscled out the competition and are now around every corner.
It's sad.

So, we have put a self imposed ban on all establishments owned by either of these companies, and I encourage you to do the same. Don't go to Woolies for your weekly grocery run, go to the Sunday markets, fresh, organic, cheap, Australian made and grown, and this is peoples lively-hood!

Below is a 'No Go' list we have compiled for your reference;

Bottle Shops
1st Choice
Dan Murphys
Vintage Cellars
Woolworth Liquor

Dept Stores
Big W
Dick Smith
Office Works

Hardware Stores

Coles Owned Pubs
Bentley Hotel
Civic Hotel
Glengarry Tavern
High Road Hotel
Leopold Hotel
Victoria Park Hotel

ALH Group Pubs
Belgian Beer Cafe
Belmont Tavern
Brass Monkey
Brighton Hotel
Brooklands Tavern
Bull Creek Tavern
Captain Stirling
Dunsborough Hotel
Gosnells Hotel
Greenwood Hotel
Highway Hotel Bunbury
Hyde Park Hotel
Kalamunda Hotel
Leisure Inn
Peel Ale House
Peninsula Tavern
Royal Palms
Sail & Anchor
Saint George
The Vic
Wanneroo Villa Tavern


Give it a crack, we found when we were forced to look for alternatives we uncovered many gems! There is a great little bottle shop around the corner with loads of imported alcohol which has a better range and is cheaper than most places. We are spending less money buying bulk from Kakulas Brothers. We are eating better quality veg shopping at our local European grocers, when we ran out of a particularly hard to find light bulb we ended up finding an adorable family owned hardware store where the sales clerk was more than happy to assist us.

I think this is worth your consideration. Not only are you finding little gems that make your life easier, you are helping local independent business owners that need our patronage far more than these big companies do. When I explained what we were doing to a friend she said to me 'No offence Kelly, but you are just 2 people, what difference can you make?'. Every cent not spent at one of these 'fine establishments' makes a difference. And by spreading the word you can also make a difference. 

If you have a question, thoughts, or  even disagree please comment below, isn't it better to engage in conversation about it than to pretend there isn't an issue?

If you don't see any more posts in the future, Coles or Wesfarmers have put a hit out on me.


EDIT: Others probably could have put this more eloquently than me. Sorry.


  1. Good work Kelly! I try and shop at local grocers for fruit and veges as much as I can. I absolutely hate coles! Where do you get non food items tho, like kitchen, laundry and toiletries?

  2. Try: PAWS Cruelty Free Shop - 120 Beaufort Street Perth, for vegan food items, kitchen, laundry and toiletry items and your local IGA for the rest.