The holiday shopping season has already begun! Holiday commercials are in full swing. Shopping malls are already having Santa visits and are brightly decorated in trees and winter themes. It all can be quite overwhelming!
That doesn’t seem to stop consumers, who are seeking the best deals in the final months of 2015. In the U.S., the National Retail Federation forecasts that the average American will spend $805 on gifts and non-gift items during this period. That will account for retail sales at over $650 billion!
What about the vegan consumer? Vegans currently account for 2.5% of the U.S. population; a number that’s growing. What if we accounted for 2.5% of that $650 billion in retail sales? That would be $16.25 billion, and that number cannot be ignored!
By purchasing vegan, cruelty-free products, we’re speaking with our wallets. We’re building a demand! So, what better time could there be to grow that demand than during the holidays?
While we speak with our wallets, we’re not excluded from indulging our loved ones or ourselves. Ethics may direct us in how we spend our money. However, we also strive to always be compassionate, savvy shoppers.
Finding the perfect vegan gift is getting easier. The number of vegan brands and retailers is growing. However, based on where you are, the access may still be a tad bit difficult. Here’s a quick guide to help you navigate the holiday shopping season!
Vegan gifts can be found just about everywhere. From your local bookstore to the big box department store, it’s a matter of being mindful of materials, ingredients and your loved ones. Your gift can be practical for the home, a fun way to introduce someone to veganism or a means to support your favorite non-profit. If all else fails, there’s always a gift card to a veg-friendly restaurant or shop.
During this holiday season, we, as vegans, can do our part to spread compassion in a number of ways. We can support vegan businesses. We can introduce our friends to a cruelty-free lifestyle. We can help the animals, and just make the world a better place.
Your loved one may not be vegan. However, knowing how much compassion and thought you put into that gift could be the spark for change they may need to get closer to understanding and accepting veganism. It makes one act of kindness and love, which is a gift in itself!
Carmella Lanni-Giardina, VLCE, is one-half of the blog team, The Food Duo and co-hosts #VeganFoodChat on Twitter. She loves technology as much as vegan cupcakes. Carmella can be found in NYC-area coffee shops, drinking tea and writing on IT, marketing and all things vegan. She can also be found online at http://about.me/eclanni.