Monday, June 25, 2012

how many slaves work for you?

Slaves? Yes.

Maybe you don't realize (a lot of people don't) but a lot the food, clothing, toiletries, vehicles, technology, etc that we purchase here is America is made by an industry of slaves. People often don't realize what a huge injustice is being done in other parts of the world and they unknowningly support this injustice by what they purchase.

People love to shop in places where they can get a good deal, of want to buy a big name designer label...but have you ever thought about why the prices are low or where all those items come from? Some man, woman, or even child in another part of the world is being unfairly paid, or not even paid at all, so we Americans can get cheap goods. Take a look at the tag on your shirt or jeans and you might be surprised...

I try my best to buy fair trade, but it is SO hard because so many good we use are made through injustice. Buying things or from companies that are "fair trade" (meaning if they have employees in other countries they are being properly paid for their work) is a good, small way to fight injustice. Many, many companies have made an effort to ensure that their products and good are being made in a way that is just. People taking action against injustice have caused many companies (like Starbucks- their coffee is fair trade now, but wasn't a few years ago!) to rethink their products and make changes. Buying American made is also usually a good way to go. Thrifts stores are also a favorite!

For me, buying my wedding dress was a big deal. Most people immediately run to the big name stores (*cough cough David's Bridal cough cough) to buy a relatively cheap gown for their big day. But the reason that there can be a $500 gown sale is because those dresses are being mass produced in foreign countries by women who are not getting fair pay for their labor. I ended up buying my wedding dress used, from a thrift store though there were several I liked from David's. It was about 30 years old and originally almost all hand done in the USA. Knowing that someone didn't have to suffer in a sweat shop to have me look great on my wedding day ment a lot to me!

I just took a survey on a very eye opening website:
My computer froze up when I got the step about items in my closet (no I don't own 50 pairs of jeans!), so the number I got isn't entirely accurate (48 slaves work for me, according to the survey), and I am sure no number is, but something like this can give you a pretty unsettling estimate of just what injustice you are supporting and where it is going on.

Check it out. And maybe take some time to rethink your purchasing habits.

1 comment:

Tim said...

Nice job on this, Isabella. I followed you over from Victoria's Justice Pirate blog to try the slave survey. I've tried it before and it always froze on me so I thought I'd try again. It froze for me once more. Oh well.

Did you see Jenny Rae Armstrong's recent series on human trafficking? I wrote one of the articles as a guest piece (, and Jen had a couple more articles that brought more insight to the issue.

God's blessings on your new marriage too, Isabella. We're going on 25 with our next anniversary. Being married is an adventure like no other!



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