Shop fair at Christmas
Most Australians want to shop ethically and Christmas is the perfect time to start. It is estimated that Australians will spend more than $18 billion this Christmas. Lots of the gifts will end up in landfill and much of the clothing will be worn less than 10 times.
According to the 2021 the Australian Ethical Consumer Report, 87% of the 2000 people surveyed want to change their fashion consumption habits to consume more ethically, but just 46% regularly purchase from ethical/sustainable fashion brands.
Ethical shopping was under the spotlight during ACRATH’s recent online Conversation, Placing the person at the centre of our Christmas shopping, featuring Bonnie Graham (pictured), Ethical Fashion Coordinator with Baptist World Aid Australia and Nick Savaidis, founder of ETIKO. Nick’s company scored an A+ in the recently released Ethical Fashion Guide.
Clothing sold by ETIKO is certified FAIRTRADE and ensures workers are paid fairly and that the FAIRTRADE premium is used to improve community outcomes.
ETIKO t-shirts are made using cotton produced by the Chetna Organic Cooperative, which now has 7000 members. Producers are paid a floor price for the cotton, which will not drop if the global price of cotton collapses. However, they are paid more if the price of cotton increases. The cooperative has diversified with many farmers now also growing legumes. The FAIRTRADE premium has been used to improve communities including the building of toilet blocks and educational facilities.
Nick said buying FAIRTRADE was not about making a donation to a charity, but about spending money on quality products that could also improve the lives of the producers and their communities.
Bonnie joined Baptist World Aid after a career in the fashion industry, which she left because of many practices she witnessed. She didn’t want to ‘contribute to a broken system that exploits people, it exploits the planet and ultimately relies on convincing people that they constantly need more’.
Bonnie and Nick urged people to think about their purchases for Christmas and where possible to buy from companies that are working to improve conditions for workers and the environment.
Click here to listen to the 30-minute online ACRATH Conversation, Placing the person at the centre of our Christmas shopping.
And don’t forget about slavery-free gifts of chocolate, teas and coffee. Just look for one of three labels: FAIRTRADE, UTZ and Rainforest Alliance. And when you shop, please ask the staff in the shop if their goods are slavery-free, and if they don’t know, ask them to register your interest with their manager. We need to be demanding consumers!