Think Ethical this Christmas
As the holiday season approaches for another year, shops go into overdrive preparing for the Christmas rush. Prices drop, advertising increases and Christmas decorations go up, reminding all of us that it’s time to buy our loved ones presents to show our appreciation. But while the festive season has traditionally been a celebration of family and joy, designed to give thanks, it seems that the traditions are becoming more about buying bigger and better presents.
Chrissie Sayer, the manager of The Trading Circle in Paddington, Brisbane, recommends people should consider the implications of what they buy this Christmas season. Shopping fair trade is becoming easier as more shops consider the ethical implications of their products.
“When you’re going to make a purchase, think about where it was made. How was it made? Think about the impact and the difference that this purchase could make in someone’s life.”
“dignified work choices”
Ethical shopping also considers the sustainability of production, along with giving people in developing countries dignified work choices.
The Alay Kapwa Co-operative in the Philippines is an example of an ethical cooperative as a response to tremendous poverty and lack of employment in the slums around the Philippines. The Alay Kapwa co-operative provides training for women to create enterprises and provide incomes for their families. These enterprises create a variety of goods, such as bags made from recycled materials, soaps, candles and jewellery. The Trading Circle stocks their goods, and discusses the importance of dignity in these roles. “The artisans involved in the projects have always endeavoured to produce a product that is purchased because of its beauty, quality and usefulness, and not out of pity or charity. The artisans are grateful for the opportunity your purchase offers them and are constantly striving to make their products better.”
“sustainable gift alternatives”
Co-operatives such as this one provide women in developing countries with dignified work choices, but also provide Australian consumers with ethical and sustainable gift alternatives. Shops that promote fair trade such as Oxfam and the Trading Circle all offer wide ranges of items, fashionable and practical that endorse sustainable development in impoverished countries. The small decisions consumers make when considering purchases can truly make a difference in someone’s life for the better.