Recently there was a news report on ‘The Project’ @theprojecttv regarding slavery in the world and it directed consumers to a website, http://slaveryfootprint.org/, where you could actually view your own ‘slavery footprint’. It was an eye opener to see how my lifestyle and living inadvertently supports and fuels the slavery trade around the world. Living a relatively moderate life I believed…after all I don’t even own an ipad, laptop and the other horde of gadgets that my generation have acquired…my ‘slavery footprint’ would be minimal.
Of course, I had a sneaking suspicion that my biggest impact would in fact be my love for shopping and the purchasing of brands that may not necessarily take a conscious effort to source and manufacture their products, free from slavery.
I was right! To supportmy living and lifestyle, I had 60 slaves working for me. My biggest impact were the clothing purchases I had amassed over the years. It was an interesting little exercise for me at first however, as I started delving in deeper and researched the devastating affects of slave labour via consumer demand and also the companies that support it, I felt more than a little sick to my stomach to think I that something that brought me happiness and personal satisfaction was at the cost of another human beings happiness.
My slavery footprint! I have ?? slaves working for me.
There are so many opinions out there that certain companies are in fact doing good by giving these communities/people jobs, even if it is well below standard living/employment conditions. Secondly, that these companies are only delivering goods and services, fuelled by a consumer demand.
After reading that opinion, it’s hard for me to not believe and feel the opinion of my own, that companies are just blatantly justifying their part in the slave labour through consumer needs and maintain their inability to make a change through a ‘this is the way it is’ mentality.
However, I too as a consumer, is taking part in justifying my spending habits and not taking action.
Now that I know my part, I am making a conscious effort to reverse my actions and reduce my slavery footprint. How? Well, being that clothing is my biggest contributor in having slaves work for me, the first step is to stop buying clothes that directly or indirectly, support slave labour.
This was a very big decision for me but an easy one. To be honest, most of the brands I buy are all manufactured within countries rife with slave labour. The next step, I have decided to start selling the clothing items from non slave free brands, either via eBay, gumtree or direct to friends. With all the funds I make from selling these clothes, I am going to donate to the slaveryfootrprint.org.
This is just a small step to freeing my conscious but most importantly freeing modern day slaves from slave labour. I am not wanting to point the finger at brands that may still use modern day slaves to manufacture their goods. However, I do hope, like myself, the awareness will cause these brands to take action and hopefully one day, I’ll buy those brands again when they are ‘slavery free’.
We can all do our part to make a difference. Take action today.
Keep an eye out on ebay for items I will be listing soon.