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Why is Ethical Shopping Such a Chore?

Posted on May 27 2016

So often when left with a little time to kill I find myself wandering into the nearest clothing store or shoe store.  My friends know I have a bit of a shoe problem… I find it interesting that throughout my life I have always been a champion of environmental and social issues, but when it came to shopping, I could rather easily ignore these.  I mean, organic food, yes.  Green cleaning products, definitely!  But did I ever really stop myself from buying a cute dress or jewellery because I didn’t know where it came from?  Honestly, no.  When I came across sustainable brands, I supported them, but this didn’t stop me from shopping on the high street as well. 

Yesterday was different.  I had a few hours between meetings in Central London.  I mean how else was I going to spend that time?!  So I went shopping.  I wandered from shop to shop.  “Oh a pair of super cute trousers for £30, bargain!”  Or is it??  Did I know if the workers were paid fair wages, if even at all?  No.  Had that company signed up to the Bangladesh Accord(http://bangladeshaccord.org/) to ensure that they didn’t support factories with unsafe working practices?  I just didn’t know.  This accord was brought about after the over 1100 people died and more than 2500 were injured when a building collapsed in the garment district of Dhaka.  People died; for greed, for our clothes.  There are still a few high street brands that have not signed up and this is not ok. 

In the end, I realised I wasn’t comfortable buying anything without knowing more about the policies (and more importantly the practices) of these companies.  Needless to say doing a bunch of research on the spot was out of the question.  Luckily I’ve later found there are some companies that are doing this research such as http://rankabrand.org/ and http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/

Will make sure I fully revise before hitting the high street again! 

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