The trending shift toward being more ethically conscious; of our clothes, the environment, and human rights, have triggered many heated debates about things we should and shouldn’t do/buy. Though most of us will agree that hurting people is bad, and we need to protect the planet, it seems that our attitudes and behaviour don’t match up a lot of the time.
Being an ethical consumer is a difficult thing to define these days, is it not buying bad products or buying the good products, is it being vegan, or buying fair trade??? I can imagine how daunting the thought of being more ethical can cause people to completely block these out as it’s sometimes too much guilt to think about the consequences of every purchase.
BUT IT’S NOT ALL DOOM AND GLOOM – WE JUST NEED TO TAKE IT ONE STEP AT A TIME.
Research by Hurtado (1998) has shown the most common reasons that we don’t buy ethical products even though our values tell us it is something we should do.
- They don’t understand all the labels and there just isn’t enough information about what makes the product ‘ethical’.
- The ethical product is more expensive than the one you would normally buy.
- There aren’t enough environmentally friendly products on the market.
- People just don’t believe they can make a difference as one sole person making an ethical purchase.
STOP DOUBTING YOURSELF – IF ONE PERSON COULDN’T CHANGE THE WORLD THEN WHO ARE; ROSA PARKS, MARTIN LUTHER KING, MAHATMA GANDI, MUHAMMED ALI??
All the information you need:
Basically fairtrade products are imported normally from communities of farmers and workers in less economically developed countries. The principles of fairtrade allow workers to receive a fair STANDARD rate for their products, so regardless of the economic climate, they will still get paid what they deserve. On top of this, the PREMIUM you are paying goes towards a community fund that allows the communities to invest in health care, living and education! So the more fairtrade products we invest in, the more companies that will store them, and the more rights workers get in developing countries. So rather than putting money in this man’s pocket (CEO of TESCO), we should buy just one fairtrade product to help these people.
- Environmentally friendly products:
Global Warming is killing our planet, and this is mainly due to the amount of waste that is being produced and burnt, along with excess energy consumption and industrial waste releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. We have 31% more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere now than in the 1800’s. Here are some statistics on global warming:
What can we do? We can be more aware of our consumption habits INDIVIDUALLY.
- Turn off lights whenever you can, and turn off switches.
- Walk, cycle or use public transport more than your car.
- USE LESS PLASTIC – this is one of the biggest Killers on this planet.
- 15 easy ways to become environmentally friendly – calculate your carbon footprint here.
“THE ULTIMATE TEST OF MAN’S CONSCIENCE MAY BE HIS WILLINGNESS TO SACRIFICE SOMETHING TODAY FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS WHOSE WORDS OF THANKS WILL NOT BE HEARD” – GAYLORD NELSON
- Fashion Shopping:
A lot of companies have been in the limelight for poor ethics in regards to their workers, for example H&M and NIKE with the use of their sweatshops. This means they normally employ really young or poor people and get them to do grueling cheap labor for less than a fair price, and then these products are sold for A HELL OF A LOT MORE to the regular consumer abroad. It means the companies profit shoots up while the workers still live in poverty – THIS NEEDS TO STOP.
What can you do?
- Here is a list of companies who USE SWEATSHOPS
- Here is a list of companies that DO NOT USE SWEATSHOPS
You can also start by helping the environment through fashion by buying from companies who recycle their clothes and also use ORGANIC materials which are not man-made as this adds to the pollution causing global warming.
Remember there are three types of ethical consumers TAKE ONE STEP, MAKE ONE CHANGE, AND CHOOSE ONE ACTION – TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.