Here is something i’ve just had posted on the ‘generous’ website, re ethical shopping:
Why Pay More?
08 May 2008 by Annie Porthouse
‘Why pay more?’ ASDA enquires of us, as though we’d be stark raving bonkers to ever shop anywhere else. Despite the rising cost of fuel and food, and the phrase ‘credit crunch’ becoming as familiar as the sound of our own breathing, large retailers are still determined to fill their shelves, and our homes, with cheap ‘stuff’.
‘Why pay more?’ we generous-minded shoppers reply. ‘Maybe because the people who grew or made this item need a fair wage in order to survive and raise their families. Because we don’t want to pollute the planet with ‘nasties’ and if it costs a bit more to buy organic or eco-friendly or fairly traded, well, we’ll do our best.’
That said, ‘ethical shopping’ has never been that clear cut. Many major retailers have cottoned on to the demand for ‘ethical’ goods. Take Primark. Back in 2005, Ethical Consumer Magazine voted them the least ethical clothing chain. The following year Primark became a member of the Ethical Trading Initiative. They now have an organic cotton range. Priced from £4, they’re a classic Primark bargain, but this time with an ‘eco-friendly’ tag. We can even carry our bargain home in an eco-friendly carrier bag!
Browsing through our favourite ‘generous’ style catalogue or website, we’re unlikely to be able to purchase a similar organic item so cheaply. A dilemma presents itself: To buy that organic T-shirt from Primark, and then be ‘generous’ with the money we save. Or to buy it from our small independent ‘ethical’ supplier (Traidcraft, for example) at a higher price, but be more confident about the ethics of the company we’re buying from.
Maybe the ‘generous’ way to shop is to buy less. Taking clothing for example:
* Make the clothes we have last longer (buy good quality)
* Swap with friends
* Buy second hand from eBay, jumble sales, charity shops
* Don’t be a slave to the latest fashions
After all, Every Little Helps!