When I was younger I was a strong campaigner for fairtrade and antisweatshop measures. I went along to events, sent letters to companies telling them I wouldn’t shop from them till they changed their practices and was quite actively involved in some groups around those ideas…then things stopped. I don’t know why exactly but I wasn’t as involved anymore. But this week I heard John Oliver talking about the terrible practices surrounding the manifacture of clothing [warning there is probably some foul language and is deliberatly offensive in the video]
Now there is certainly an argument that child labour can be an important step in the industrialisation of a nation (it happened in victorian Britian after all) but if a company says that it will have adequate safty practices and it doesn’t t hen that’s just not right.
This video reminded me of “The end of poverty” by Jeffery Sachs, which laid out some practical ideas for the erradication of poverty in our lifetime…and yet I’ve forgotten about them.
Maybe it’s time for me to take a closer look at how the clothes I buy are made, whether the workers are getting a fair deal and being treated right and not exploited.