How can we become smart, ethical shoppers in a consumerist world?
It’s inescapable. We are pushed products everywhere we turn. And it’s never been easier to get the things you need or want. The rise of Amazon and online shopping means everything is just a click away.
The demand for goods is so high right now that ports are grappling with the surge of cargo, leaving limited space for shipping containers, congestion on the seas, shipping delays, and shortages on the shelves.
But have you ever stopped to think about where your clothes, furniture, electronics, and other household goods – even your food – come from? And who’s making them?
Cheaply made, mass-produced products have implications for the environment and the people making the goods, and nowhere is this seen more than in fast fashion.
8% of greenhouse gas emissions come from the fashion industry. And each year, 37 kilograms of textile waste per person ends up in Canadian landfills.
Then there are the human rights atrocities. Sweatshop workers can make as little as 12 to 18 cents an hour, with long days and few rights. And there are an estimated 170 million child labours around the world.
This week on Context, how can we become smart, ethical shoppers in a consumerist world?
Cherie Wai, Youth Engagement and Advocacy Officer at World Vision, explains what common household items – including produce – are exploiting people and kids. World Vision has 5 ethical shopping guides to help navigate where and what to buy.
Peter Keegan, Director of Advocacy at Baptist World Aid Australia, explains the criteria for their Ethical Fashion Guide to help consumers know what brands are doing their part to make positive changes to the fashion industry.
And The Cue Panel – Jacky Habib, Moira McQueen, and Brian Dijkema – all weigh in on their own shopping habits.