More on sweatshops

I posted last month about Nike doing the ‘look we’re sustainable!’ thing. And I read through frogblog that Salient pitted the left against the right on boycotting product from sweatshops. Good to see that the questions are being asked in more and more public forums.

But it’s not good enough to say ‘don’t buy something cause it’s bad’, you need to offer an alternative. The obvious example with shoes is the No Sweat range that you can get from Trade Aid shops nationwide. AND they’re cheaper than most shoes of that kind. It’s really important when you’re a consumer activist to remember that when they tell you it costs more to care, it’s not often the case. It might take a bit more time, and a bit more imagination, but that is usually much more radical anyway, so why not?

Another example of doing something positive rather than negative came through my inbox today. I got sent one of those ‘the evil petrol companies are being mean to us by charging heaps, let’s stop them’ emails. Now putting aside my intense dislike for car drivers that bitch and moan about the cost of their state-sponsored, planet-killing habit. The email I received was quickly responded to with this;

How about just USE LESS PETROL folks –
* USE public transport
* Get involved in local transport decision-making to make your community bike/scooter/pedestrian friendly
* push for the development of “door to door” public transport solutions including development of “scoot on” and “bike on” buses and trains so everyone’s children and Grannies can get ALL around the place
* Walk!
* business owners: make a conscious effort to make your business a low-fuel consumer by providing low-consumption SHARED company car(s)and encourage your staff to use public transport to get to and from work
* push for public transport to be “shopping friendly” and supermarkets to be “public transport friendly” by them working together to come up with good solutions for us all
* IMAGINE a society in which you can WALK out your door and get to wherever you want to go, with whatever luggage you need, WITHOUT having to own the vehicle…



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