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!