arielpontes

Developer, philosophy MA, secular humanist activist, organizer of the Romanian EA group, blogger @ ghostlessmachine.com. Originally from Rio, based in Bucharest.

Comments

Would you buy from an altruistic shop?

Fair enough, I admit I didn't do any deep research  on luxury brands. My assumption that they make a lot of profit is based on the fact that many successful brands that also spend money on "R&D, marketing, office employee salaries, shipping, storage, dealing with returns and damages, and more" nevertheless manage to sell their products for very decent prices. So I really do not see what could justify another brand with presumably similar production costs selling almost identical products for 5 times the price. Based on the little I understand about human psychology and economics, it's about the exclusivity, the luxury, the idea of having something "limited edition".  People think it's worth a lot because other people think it's worth a lot. But maybe I'm wrong  and Louis Vuitton doesn't make a lot more profits than, say, Zara. I'm checking now and the net worth of Bernard Arnault (the CEO of Louis Vuitton and richest person in Europe) is more than twice that of Amancio Ortega (chairman of Zara), but I'm not sure this is the metric I should be looking at. In any case my main point is that the fact that we spend so much money as a society on something so "useless" is a moral scandal.

And as far as risk is concerned, I will use Printful and Etsy for the MVP, and they only charge fees when products are purchased, so the financial risk is literally zero. The only thing I may lose is time.

Would you buy from an altruistic shop?

Honestly at this point the $50,000 item is more like a joke, something to make a point. I'd have a listing there to raise awareness of the fact that people really are spending that kind of money on stupid stuff all the time, which I think is a moral scandal. But of course, I'd be happy if somebody actually bought it! But in any case, although people usually don't buy t-shirts or hoodies for $50,000, they buy  them for a few hundred dollars all the time. This shop idea is largely inspired by this Patriot Act episode: 

Would you buy from an altruistic shop?

Yeah, I've thought about that as well. I guess it's not exactly EAs that I expect to be the main audience, but "conscious consumers" who are not necessarily super educated in ethics and EA, but who like to buy "eco" stuff, or who would be happy to buy  a product if the profits are going to a any cause, like feminism or BLM, regardless of whether it's effective. I just prefer to say it goes to EA to simplify my life, and because I think EAs knows best how to use this money in the most ethical way possible. The way I see it, EA is about two things: (1) we should donate (2) effectively. I don't intend necessarily to focus on effectiveness so much. I want to focus more on the moral imperative to donate something.