I would assume most of us over the age of 18 years of age, would be familiar with the term ‘sweat shop’. Workers being under paid, over worked in unsafe conditions (think of the building collapse in Bangladesh a few years ago). The clothing trade is the most tainted, but it doesn’t necessarily stop there. The recent increase in export production from China, always has us second guessing how our ‘dirt cheap’ item can be so ‘dirt cheap’. How many times have you been in Kmart and thought about the profit margin of the $5 T-shirt you just bought?
It was last week that made me think more about this topic. I was in one of my Facebook groups (I think it was a paleo one), and some one brought up the question if Himalayan Sea Salt was better than Murray River Salt. At first I thought to myself people would mostly respond in the ‘buy local’ kind of way, but I was very surprised by the responses.
Someone mentioned how the area where the Himalayan salt was sourced is now being destroyed to keep up with the demand. Another lady said how she doesn’t buy Murray river salt because when the farms use pesticide on their crop, it runs into the river when it rains. What? I now have to feel guilty where I buy my salt from? Where does it stop? It seems these days there is somewhere or someone that is being abused in some way for production.
The term ‘ethical shopping’ can mean different things to people. Mostly it means the conditions and wages of the workers that made your product. But it can also mean:
Were there any animals harmed in the process of making your product? (meat, farming or animal testing).
Is the land being harmed in any way? (like the Himalayas)
Are there chemicals being used to grow the product (pesticides, GMO)
Is the item using organic resources?
Is the food you are buying local?
I’m sure there is more to add to the list, but it does get you thinking. I don’t want you to feel guilty after reading this post, but I suppose it comes down to what is important to you the most. Perhaps ignorance is better after all?
Here is one of many websites dedicated to ethical shopping:
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