Monday, February 28, 2005

fair trade

anj and will have got me thinking a lot about fair trade lately. we support ijm and do everything we can to raise awareness of slavery, bonded labor and prostitution that is happening world wide. when i read the article about the chocolate the other day i never once imagined that i could be contributing to it myself.

i don't eat chocolate, but my family does. and i do drink coffee devotedly. it makes me literally sick to my stomach to think that i've been contributing to the cycle of pain in the world by being so unaware. this following of 'the way' is harder than it looks. it was easier to be a self-righteous consumer, full of american capitalistic pride, buying without conscience, than it is to realize the global implications that come from things as simple as making coffee and feeding my family.

we live here on a very small budget. we buy everything we can 2nd hand, garbage pick furniture and pinch every penny possible. that usually means that we shop at (ugh) walmart. it pains me to type that. liam and i have had many conversations lately about making better choices as to where we spend our finances for food and consumables. it's just so hard when every penny needs to be stretched as far as it can go.

we've started buying our meat from my cousin who's a butcher. it becomes a much more intentional process than just picking up things when you need it, and means that money has to be spent differently than it used to be. i'm trying to buy my produce from the market instead of the local grocery store. walmart produce was never an option as it is disgusting (oh how i miss canadian grocers!) i thought that i was making a better choice by using the local grocery chain instead of walmart, but found out recently that they were purchased by corporate office to break the union and bring in cheaper labor. walmart's arm is so far reaching.

how do people buy underwear in the fair-trade market? i honestly can't afford the mall, and wonder if it really is any different in the long run?? once you start to unravel this thread it is unbelievable how many areas this really touches.

anj gave me some websites to look into, i'll pass them on to you here if you're interested:

fair trade usa

no sweat apparel

fair trade coffee

please if you have any advice, help or research i'd really love to see it. thanks.

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