Today has been declared Shine A Light On Slavery Day by End It Movement.
To help bring awareness I am reposting this from the archive. This post gives practical advice on how you can shop ethically.
As long as I can remember I have been a bargain shopper. My mom taught me to shop for bathing suits in the September and winter coats in May. I have never been a stranger to the clearance racks or couponing.
But here I am in turmoil over my purchases. I am realizing there is so much more to consider than just a good deal.
A quote from the the social justice handbook:
Everyday we are confronted by challenging societal problems, from poverty and institutional racism to AIDS and homelessness. It can all seem so overwhelming. But while none of us can do everything, all of us can do something.
If I were to ask you if you wanted to support a company that had slave labor you would, of course, say no. But unfortunately every time we make a purchase we “vote” for what we think are acceptable company practices.
There are an estimated 27 million slaves at work today. More than ever before. Many slaves are working hard to produce the food we buy and the clothes we wear. With raised awareness customers are starting to make wiser choices by supporting companies committed to ethical treatment of their workers.
The good news is there are very easy, practical and yes, even FRUGAL ways to shop ethically.
Scan before you buy
Free2Work is a really cool company that grades companies on a scale of “A” to “F” based on supply chain transparency, code of conduct, response to child and forced labor, and overall efforts to empower workers. Plus they have a free app that lets you easily search for companies making your “research” a snap!
Good Guide is a similar company only the also grade the company on it’s health and environmental impact. They have a free ap that lets you scan the barcode!
Had I been a little wiser the last time i bought shoes I would not have bought Sketchers, who have a grade F, and would have looked at maybe some Adidas, or Nikes who have a grade A (Nike’s have come a long way! Go Nike!).
Buy Second Hand
I’m a big fan of second hand shopping. Yard sales, thrift stores, and hand me downs are all fabulous ways to “shop”.
When you buy something second hand the damage from the store (and factory) has already been made. Second hand shopping means you are supporting a local family yard sale, a church fund raiser, or a charity like goodwill or salvation army. Plus who doesn’t get excited about a super cute pair of jeans for $1!
Buy in bulk
Equal Exchange is a wonderful organization that offers a coop for buying fair trade, ethical products and very reasonable prices. Go in with a few friends to split an order or just store your own olive oil, bananas, nuts and coffee.
Buy local and or handmade
Locally grown food, handmade items or items made right in your own town not only have character and are better for you, they also DON’T carry with it a story of forced labor and unethical treatment.
Etsy is a great place to find homemade…everything!
Our dollars really are the loudest voice we have. When we stop supporting shady practices, companies change. Let us LIVE the gospel with our dollars and “vote” yes to companies that are practicing good ethics.
Share your thoughts on all this! Anyone have any tips on how you shop ethical?