How to Be an Ethical Shopper in Tanzania

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Ethical shopping refers to shopping practices that benefit both the environment and society. Tanzania is a land filled with unspoiled and raw natural beauty. It’s best to keep it that way! One of the ways you can preserve Tanzania’s natural beauty is by becoming an ethical shopper in Tanzania.

Tanzania is home to a very diverse wildlife species, which means that animals are often targeted for making consumer products like clothes made of fur, or decorations made from ivory, animal parts and skins, traditional remedies for ailments made from Rhino horn. If this continues, Tanzania will soon lose its diversity of wildlife. Wondering how you can contribute toward preserving the environment by becoming an ethical shopper in Tanzania?

Well, keep reading our guidelines to find out more!

Guidelines to Follow:

  • Avoid animal products. Purchasing products such as ivory could mean supporting poachers and endangering rare species. Elephants and rhinos are at constant risk of being hunted so avoid all products linked to them. The less you buy these products, the lower their demand and supply chain goes.


  • Buy locally and buy directly from the maker if possible. Ask questions about how the item is made and where the components come from. This ensures that the locals are receiving a fair price for their hard work.


  • Buy souvenirs that promote local culture. For example, you could buy a kanga – a kind of local sarong, which can be used as a quick cover up as well as a towel, blanket or scarf at other times. They have local sayings written in Swahili – find one that’s appropriate for you! It will make a lovely souvenir!


  • If you’re buying from bigger shops, make sure you ask around about the working conditions of those shops. Avoid shops that might employ children or have a bad reputation for how they treat their workers.


  • A lot of tourist countries like Tanzania have a population that depends on sales made to tourists. Therefore, even if price negotiations may be a part of certain cultures, don’t haggle too much!


  • Ask questions to make sure what you are buying isn’t stolen especially if the seller is claiming the item has historical or cultural significance.


  • Try to eat at local eateries. Not only will you have an enriching experience trying the local cuisine, but you will also support local businessmen. After all, you can always have McDonald’s back at home! Also, try to tip generously whenever you can.

Ethical Shopping Brands in Tanzania:

  • Endelea is a brand that connects Italy and Tanzania. Their creations are designed in Italy and handmade in Tanzania: they select and buy fabrics from local markets and small shops in Dar es Salaam to support the local economy, and partner with young and enthusiast Tanzanian artisans. Moreover, a part of Endelea’s revenue is invested in creating on-site workshops and sponsoring collaborations between Italian and Tanzanian universities.


  • If you want to buy gemstones such as tanzanite, we would suggest buying through The Tanzanite Experience, which are museums and boutiques in Tanzania. They aim to teach people about tanzanite, its origins, history and uniqueness. They have a wide collection of tanzanite gemstones guaranteed to have followed an ethical route of the Tuscan Protocols, which ensure the highest possible level of health and safety and ethical mining.


So, what are you waiting for? Follow the guideline above and become an ethical shopper in Tanzania! It’s a land with great economic potential when it comes to tourism! In fact, you should check out the Economic Potential of Tourism in Tanzania.

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