Act Justly Now- Habit 14: Ethical shopping

In the book of Micah we are commanded to ‘Act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with our God’. In Galatians Paul recalls being encouraged by the other apostles to ‘remember the poor’ as he preached the gospel. His response was to declare that he was most eager to do just that!
These weekly tips are to help us start seeking justice wherever we are. They are small, practical steps that we can all do and that together will make a huge difference. I want to take my personal justice seeking up a level this year and so I am going to try something new each week.
I hope you will join me.

 

Act Justly Now- Habit 14: Ethical Shopping

Last week…

Last time was all about gender equality. Violence against women is a global problem that is certainly an issue of justice and is often closely tied to issues of poverty and power. I asked some of the women around me about where my  attitudes and behaviour dishonoured them and undermined equality. I learned lots about myself- not all of it comfortable. In particular as someone who is good with words and fast at talking I learned that there are some things that I say, humour that I use and ways of expression that sometimes undermine women. Lots for me to think on, repent of and change.

What am I going to do this week?

This week is about ethical shopping. I want to spend my money with companies that care about the ethics of their supply chain including the working conditions and wages of their workers and their impact on the environment.

How am I going to do this?

Before buying anything I am going to look for a label like the fair-trade label or Rain Forest Alliance label that assures me that the product has been made more ethically and been externally assessed. If I can’t see such a label I am going to ask in the shop about the companies ethical approach and how I can be sure that the workers were treated well and paid appropriately

Going Deeper?

I have been appalled at the news this week of the building in Bangladesh containing garment factories that collapsed. At the time of writing over 300 people have been killed. The story is here. Whatever the final reasons for the collapse of this building I have been to Bangladesh and visited such factories and the conditions can be terrible. Yet we have enormous power as consumers to demand better conditions for the people working in the factories and farms that supply our clothes and food. If we cared as much about the welfare of those workers as we do about style, colour, fit and price then our days at the shops would be transformative. All too often someone else is paying the price for our cheap clothes and food.

A few years ago I wrote a book and started a campaign called ‘Lift the Label’. It was asking us to lift the label on the things we buy to ensure that the people that we rely on get a fair deal. This weekend seems a really good time to start doing that again. Here is the video:

You can find more resources at: Fairtrade FoundationEthical Trading Initiative, Rainforest Alliance, Ethical Consumer

 

 

Will you join me?
It would be great to have friends for the journey and so if you start doing this then do let me know by leaving a comment or emailing me at david@davidwestlake.com.
Each week will have a new habit and tip so check back or use the form to subscribe so you get each weeks habit by email and never miss out. Please share these tips as widely as you can. You can find more resources on Rhythms of Righteousness at Rhythms

You can find all the habits under ‘Act Justly Now’