I find it really hard to get my head around the fact that some people don’t like fair trade, kind of like how some people don’t think that we should try to stop global warming, or that sexism and racism don’t exist (or don’t matter). When I wrote my guest post for the Telegraph London blog (following in the footsteps of Katie and the other Sophie), I just assumed that everyone would be on more or less the same page as me – interested in finding out about places where they could shop that are both stylish and beautiful as well as helping, you know, make the world a better place.
The comments are pretty funny – apparently one reader thinks that Free Market Capitalism is the solution to extreme poverty. Yes, really. In this day and age, too, when even the most hardened Capitalists are scratching their heads and having to admit that maybe something, somewhere along the line, went wrong with this supposedly just and infallible system. Survival of the fittest and all that. That might be all very well, but we don’t start with a level playing field in the first place, do we? I work part time at the Ethical Fashion Forum, and a little bit of research into supply chains (hell, just watch Blood Diamond) and it’s clear that the so-called Free Market doesn’t regulate itself. Millions of people are being exploited, and fair trade is trying to address this issue.
But being ‘ethical’ isn’t just about social justice, although that’s a large part of it. It’s also about spending a bit more, and buying a bit less, which is better for the environment because we all have too much stuff and it’s turning into landfill. We all need to be a bit more thoughtful not just about where we shop, but also how we shop.
Read the full article here: London’s best ethical shops and boutiques