Shopping has gotten both easier and more straining in recent decades. Much of what we need—or want—is available for purchase online. Transactions are often easier and faster when buffered through technology, because it bypasses the human element. But easier and faster isn’t always better. Technology has also made shopping more difficult and ethically challenging. It informs us of every part and parcel of our must-have items. We now know the ingredients that preserve our processed goods and the components that enslave the people who assemble our electronics.

How do we come to grips with our consumerism and what it does to others? That’s what Nicholas Tieman addresses in this issue with his article “Surviving the Shopocalypse: What to Do When Fair Trade Won’t Save the World.” Then, in “Shopping for Soul,” Jennifer Ditlevson Haglund lends some insight for how we can respect the people we encounter as we go about our daily transactions.

Try as we might, we cannot go far in this world without making a transaction of some sort. Whether it’s a direct purchase with cash or a comparable trade for barter, we are interdependent. Although we cannot escape our need to shop or the knowledge of how our consumerism affects others, we can approach it with redeemed hearts and minds that acknowledge the humans we do life with.

–Erin Straza,

Editor, Christ and Pop Culture

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