When I write posts for Oh My Green, I often get a bit stressed out. Sometimes I feel like when I talk about my own business, and when I talk about other eco and fairtrade initiatives and businesses, I give a sense of justification – ‘it’s organic, fair trade & recycled, but it also happens to be amazing!’ I think this is a throwback to my younger days when I honestly believed that ethically made clothes were all tie dyed or hemp.
But really, when I see fashion like the latest collection from One Colour, I’m happy. This dress is amazing. It’s also made of organic cotton jersey, grown in East Africa. The dress is made by staff at Viva Africa, a social organisation giving training and employment to people in Kenya. It’s mailed to you from Australia. And there is a bird.
Articles and videos like this make me rather depressed and upset. I don’t like to think of slavery as still existing, let alone contributing directly to so many things I enjoy, like chocolate, or clothes made of cotton, but it does. It’s a pretty sad thing when kids as young as 10 (and even younger) are enslaved on cocoa farms so that we can buy cheap chocolate.
Read this article on The CNN Freedom Project website, then think about your favourite chocolate, cocoa, and chocolate-related products. Are they fairtrade? If they are, good one! If they’re not – write a letter, tweet or Facebook your fave chocolate brand and let them know you’ve seen CNN’s Freedom Project report and what your thoughts are. Then, find a delicious fairtrade chocolate to eat instead. Personally, I’m generally pretty good on the chocolate front – Green & Blacks chocolate is so easy to find. But that box of non-fairtrade cocoa in my cupboard is making me feel very guilty. Here are Oh My Green’s tips for fairtrade deliciousity.
Back in 1958 Barbara Sansoni worked with Sri Lankan women to found an ethically produced textile business. Nowadays, amongst other things, Barefoot make gorgeous, colourful and fun soft toys, including Australian animals! Any tour of most toy stores will demonstrate how tricky it can be to find lovely Australian animal toys, especially ones that aren’t made in sweatshops for the tourist market.
Are turtles specifically Australian? Or do they just roam the seas, as a pirate might do? I’m not sure. Barefoot toys are all a little bit unique – the fabric is even hand dyed so colour combinations can vary!