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Slavery?! With The Products We Buy?

With the recent factory collapse in Bangladesh killing almost 900 people, I’ve been thinking about the topic of the Western world’s consumerism and how others pay the ultimate price for our cheap lifestyle. Now, I’m not an overly hippie, green, eco-friendly, organic mom- I’m just your average mom thinking about the problems of the world and how I am contributing to them, no matter how small my footprint may be.

I think many of us are unaware that the millions of products we are able to purchase are sometimes made by people in slavery, perhaps even children who are payed a little-to-nothing wage.

I first stumbled onto this topic through social media when I found slaveryfootprint.org

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Take the test and see how many slaves work for you. Yes, it’s a crazy thought but modern day slavery is real and many of these modern day slaves are connected to the products you buy.

I know what you are thinking, because I struggle with it to. All the “fair trade” and ethically made products are so expensive! I am a cheap person who buys clothes at Target, whose grocery bill is under $300 a month and I feel guilty about purchasing anything for myself even if it’s a $15 shirt.

I become not only guilty about spending hard-earned money, but then the faith aspect comes in to play. Does God really want me to keep buying and spending money on unnecessary things when I could be spending it for good? I came across this quote from Better Life Bags (ethically made bags!) and it hit home with me on why we should be spending more money on the products we do buy to ensure the people who are making the products are benefiting as well.

Cheap = good = fits my budget = God is pleased, right? 

Wrong.

I now believe that God is pleased when we treat others well. Regardless of the price.

I’ve been more conscious of my buying habits with the help of some of the resources and stores below. Check them out and make a difference by simply changing the way you buy.

Noonday Collection: I now buy all of my jewelry and accessories through this ethically made company {I also became an ambassador}.

Free2Work.org: Learn how your favorite brands relate to trafficking and other labor abuses. Free2Work provides consumers with information on forced and child labor for the brands and the products they love. {Hanes, Champion, Reebok, Adidas and H&M all have good scores whereas Sketchers, LaCoste and Osh Kosh B’Gosh have horrible grades}

StyleWithHeart: Your guide to hundreds of eco-friendly and ethical brands.

Know of any other resources or brands that support ethically made products? Leave them below!

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About Emily

Thank you for reading! If you like this post, I would appreciate any comments and shares! You can view a little more about me here, follow my family and I in adopting a little boy and girl from Ghana, Africa and of course you can chat with me on Facebook and Twitter!

Comments

  1. It’s so easy to forget about what happens in other countries. I admit that I never think about where my products come from or about the people that help make them. It’s sad that life can still be that way.

  2. I admit that I don’t really think about where and how the products I buy were made. I’m frugal, and the price is usually the selling point for me… but I really need to be more ethically conscious. Thank you for this post!

  3. This is really great food for though. It made me stop and think about how many products I have probably bought where this is happening.

  4. Thank you for reminding us about this. I think we all just see what’s in front of our faces and what’s easiest for us…not how things affect others or how we support companies that have questionable practices when we buy from them. I will definitely check out these sites.

  5. Thanks for the mentions!! I have heard of 31 Bits and Global Mamas, but I’m heading to check out the other ones now!

  6. Some of my favorites are One Mango Tree, 31 Bits, Light Gives Heat, Noonday (I know you mentioned them but LOVE them), Delicate fortress and of course Global Mamas in Ghana. I like products that help to keep families together by providing sustainable income for mothers.

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