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Cassandra Clifford
Executive Director and Founder of BTFF

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Fair Trade Shopping for Father's Day

Its the American way to look for a deal and a bargain, but does your bargain gift come with a price? Global March Against Child Labor estimates that one in every eight children from 5 to 17 years old, some 179 million, work in the worst forms of child labor. Slavery taints many of our consumer products such as clothing, jewelry, cosmetics, electronics, sports equipment, rugs, agricultural produce, sugar, tea, coffee, chocolate, and many others. Often products, like clothing, may even be tainted at multiple points in the supply chain. For example children may have been used to pick the cotton of a shirt, while workers were held in situations of slavery and forced to sew the clothing.

Why not make your this Father's Day one that not only brings the joy of giving to the man who raised you, but is free from slavery and gives back to individuals and communities in need. Wouldn't Dad be so proud!

Slavery touches each one of us as a consumer, therefore take a stand against child and slave labor and work toward being a more conscious consumer and keeping slavery tainted products out of your home, today in just a few easy steps.

  1. Donate to local organizations that help empower people out of poverty & slavery, many can be found here; Fair Trade and Slave Free Links, Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Links, and Child Soldiers Links

  2. Educate yourself about the companies that use slavery in the making of their products. Green America has a sweatshop free guide. Sweatfree Communities: Sweatfree Communities has a great shopping guide with a number of places to buy sweatshop-free apparel for men, women, and children. Fair Trade Federation: You can search their online directory for Fair Trade vendors in your area.

  3. Become a more conscious consumer and buy products made by survivors of trafficking or Fair Trade products. Amanda Kloer summed it up easily with her list of 7 Ways to Fight Slavery at the Grocery Store and this years post on where to find gifts that help human trafficking survivors. You can also see the Fair Trade and Slave Free Links list, which has a number of resources and sites where you can learn more about, and purchase Fair Trade or slave free goods.

Shopping consciously is also a bit about thinking outside the box so to speak. there are a number of other ways you can seek to shop, slave free, fair trade, green, etc.

Make your own gifts or support local artisans, you can also search online for handmade items; Artfire.com has artists from around the globe selling their crafts and art supplies, Etsy features handmade and vintage items, Ebay has a number of used, one of a kind and vintage items and even has a specifically designed sight World of Good, as does sites like Geebo.

Remember to recycle and reuse as much as possible, for not only does it help us reduce waste and maintain fight global warming, you can also help reduce the consumption of slavery tainted goods. Shop your local vintage and charity shops.

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