Why We Should Care About What We Buy – Guest Post
This is a guest post from the lovely Cynthia from My fair baby.
I read a comment online the other day where the commenter was turned off when he found out that certain branded range of products were all mass produced in a certain Asian country. One response to him was, “So what? It can’t be helped. You cannot avoid it.”
Can it be avoided? Is it true, that it cannot be helped?
The recent factory collapse debacle in Bangladesh has brought recent attention to consumers on who are the makers of the clothing they wear daily. 1127 lives lost in an instant. I wonder how many were Moms and Dads like you and me just trying to make a living so that our kids can have a better future. The grief is unimaginable, the loss irreversible.
The country’s worst-ever industrial accident caused a chain reaction of global brands pulling out of the country for fear of brand dilution. I was sad to read that instead of taking responsibility to assist the factories to improve fire safety and working conditions for the Bangladeshi workers, most major companies opted for the simple solution which was to exit and find another supplier elsewhere.
The tragedy led to a wake up call for all consumers in Australia. A recent survey showed that 68% of Australian consumers would pay more for their clothes if they were ethically made and ensured garment workers were paid a decent wage and 83% would like to know the factory locations and whether workers are being treated fairly and working in safe conditions.
This is good news for the Fairtrade movement and companies promoting ethically sourced products. The more we care about what we buy, the more we can change companies on how products are sourced.
At My Fair Baby, we find out who the makers are for every product we source. We care about the artisans and want to ensure they make a good wage, work in safe conditions and are treated fairly. Some of our products are made by artisans who own microenterprises where they are empowered to make a living under their own terms.
Simply put, we’re making the effort to show that it can be helped.
Our current focus is on partnering with Restore India by contributing 10% of our profits to create a sewing enterprise in the heart of Delhi. This latest initiative, Project Sahyog (which means Project ‘Support’ in Hindi) aims to create sewing jobs for the slum community by equipping Restore India sewing graduates with the tools to sew school uniforms for Restore India literacy schools and, in the near future, plans to supply to other schools in the Delhi area. This is an ambitious but great project to get off the ground.
Creating job opportunities. Helping the poor make a decent living. Giving their families a future with access to education and healthcare. And we can do this, simply by making fair and informed purchases.
Have you bought something recently that made you think twice about where it was made?
Bangladesh, buying, ethical shopping, my fair baby, Shopping