Boycott OR Buycott?

Date posted: Friday 29 September 2023

Boycotts have been referred to as intentional avoidance of products; buycotts, on the other hand, mean intentional purchases of products. As a person who likes words and their meanings and derivations, I found the idea of a buycott intriguing. I do remember participating in both official and unofficial boycotts in the past. We lived in California when we didn’t buy/eat grapes for a long time in support of farm workers. I recall being dismayed at the far-reaching Nestle empire when the Lutheran women’s organizations were boycotting the promotion of baby formula where clean water was not available and breast feeding was a much better option. There is a shoe and handbag empire from which I have yet to purchase a product after visiting a shoe factory in Brazil with under-age workers and little to no air circulation to alleviate the glue fumes.


While we seldom see or hear much about organized boycotts these days, we do often recommend buycotts even without using that name. Many of us choose to opt out of purchasing highly processed foods (boycotts) for health reasons. Buying organic foods (buycotts) is often done for that same reason. Perhaps you are among those who purchase at farmers’ markets rather than from large chain stores in support of local small farmers. Sometimes we choose to purchase items or produce from the USA rather than another country — or even hunt for items grown/processed/made right here in Minnesota.


I find myself buycotting at certain seasons of the year. Buying and eating foods in season, such as apples in the fall in Minnesota rather than strawberries, is a good example. “New” potatoes in December is a certainty that they were not locally grown. Many choose to buy clothing at the end of a season when it is often on sale rather than during early promotions. I do the same for holiday cards and gift wrap. I also, very intentionally, do not shop on Black Friday simply because of the continuous hype. I support “Buy Nothing Day” which really is a form of a buycott, isn’t it?


I suggest you consider adding the word buycott to your vocabulary and remember it when you are out shopping. You may be already doing just that but now you have a new way to talk about it. It’s a fun word to use with family and friends and may just introduce someone to a new concept for all the very best of reasons.


Vernita Kennen

Incarnation, Shoreview