Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Does it matter
Been thinking a lot about what we buy and what we use. Just keep wondering if it really makes a difference.
My thinking got started on this when for the first time in over 12 months we took our children to McDonalds, the trays that had food on them had a nutritional guide map printed on them. I kept thinking about the film "supersize me" maybe it had something to do with McDonalds greater transparency.
Then you look at clothing, like Gap, Nike, Guess, Forever 21, Levi Strauss and you see their use of sweatshops and child labour. Should we stop buying clothes from these people? Do we care? Does it matter? Of course none of us like the idea of child labour but what happens when the factories get shut down?
Found this quote in an interesting article here with regards to a book called "Where am I wearing" by Kelsey Timmerman "It's important to take a realistic look at the situation. What do we really imagine will happen to these children if they stop working in factories? That they'll suddenly be given opportunities for education? As Timmerman points out, the alternative is more likely begging, brick-breaking or sex work. None of which is to say child labor is acceptable; just that our knowledge and concern — and activism — needs to go beyond easy shades of black and white."
What about coffee, has anyone seen the movie Black Gold looking at the global coffee industry. Where does it all end?
Then there are the supermarkets discount retailers like Aldi, Lidl, Tesco, Carrefour, and Walmart try to lure consumers into their shops with low, low prices. A man’s suit for £25 at Tesco, a woman’s dress for $9 at Walmart, or jeans for €8 at Carrefour. How do they do it? Check out the Better Bargain Campaign
What do we end up doing? Do we seriously have the time and the money to insure that our expenditure is pure and that all the companies we deal with are ethically sound?
My friend Pete Kernohagn is holding an event in Green Island N.Ireland, called All Work and No play, from the 3rd - 7th August with an auction on the 8th, to raise awareness about sweatshops in Cambodia. You should go, join up via facebook HERE