Christmas Shopping that’s Ethical

The Christmas holiday season is fast approaching, and it can be easy to be swept up in all the shiny objects when you’re shopping – especially when the newest toys and electronics dominate the shelves. But, unfortunately, whilst it can be fun, the pressure can take over, and before you know it, you’ve overspent in all the wrong places.

Each year at The Freedom Hub, we ask that to really think about who is being supported through these purchases and what can be done to support the people and organisations that need it most.

Start asking about where the product was made and the conditions in which it was manufactured – were employees treated fairly and compensated adequately for their labour? Are they there by choice and have the ability to leave if they want to?

One of the most common forms of modern slavery is forced labour, where the predominantly female victims often face harassment, abuse and, in some cases, starvation. They are forced to work with no autonomy over their bodies or labour.

It can be challenging to pivot from supporting convenient, popular companies to searching for organisations that have gone to great lengths to eradicate modern slavery from their supply chain. But seeking out these businesses and supporting them instead of the easy, convenient option will help to stem the economic prosperity of modern slavery. Eventually, one day at a time, this can also eliminate the chain of forced labour and slavery in businesses.

But for now, in terms of what you can do, here are some paths to take to contribute individually to a much more ethical consumer lifestyle!

Ethical Market Places

We’re putting this out there immediately as we have an ethical market coming up this Saturday! One of the most frequent questions we are asked at The Freedom Hub is ‘how do I know where to shop ethically?’ So, we decided to draw on our network of ethical suppliers and contacts to create the Freedom Fair Ethical Market.

After a successful September Spring Fair, we are excited to bring the Christmas Market to you on 3rd December. There will be fashion, jewellery, homewares, hampers, food, wine and more – and it’s all ethical.

Aside from this, keep a look out for Fair Trade or Oxfam stores, and don’t forget to think about repurposing and vintage shopping!

Ethical Shopping Guides

Apps and guides can arm you with info to avoid products and brands at high risk for slavery. They will help you shop ethically, but keep in mind there’s no single measure, as each guide may differ in its priority and methodology. These guides will simply help you think through some of the key factors to consider before spending your money.

General Ethical Guides:

  • Ethical Shopping Guide – This is our go-to resource when choosing brands to stock our Freedom Hub Cafe. It uses a grading system, allocating brands an A – F rating and assessing social and environmental impact.
  • The Good Shopping Guide – Energy, Money, Fashion, Food & Beverage, Technology, Health & Beauty – it’s all covered here, so it is also a great place to start!
  • The Honest Consumer – For socially responsible brands that give back and are both sustainable and ethical. This app is not focused on slavery or forced labour but allows you to shop with your values easily. It shines a light on companies trying to make a difference and those worth supporting.
  • Change the World by How you Shop – This is a US-based guide, but it also has a master list of guides for if you want to sit and study your shopping habits and brands, grab a cuppa, and read away.

Fashion:

Fashion is a very labour-intensive industry. So as consumers, it’s up to us to put pressure on fashion houses for transparency about where and how their products are made. And how do we do that? By switching our business towards the companies who are doing the work and doing good:

  • Good On You App – A great app for out-and-about shopping. Search by store or by brand to discover their rating. It’s an incredible resource with thousands of ratings, articles and expertise on ethical and sustainable fashion. Know the impact of brands on both people and the planet!
  • Oxfam Company Tracker – A list of some of the biggest companies in Australia which display whether they are being fair to their workers.

Seafood:

Preparing for the quintessential Australian BBQ involves seafood of some kind, and the fishing industry is at risk of slavery, especially in the Asia-Pacific region.

Ethical Activism

Modern slavery can appear in various forms, including harvesting cotton for a t-shirt, sewing the garment, and even modelling the final product. The fashion industry has long been a culprit of modern slavery because of increasing demands for low prices and continual new products. As a result, many fashion brands rely on overseas factories to produce their garments for low costs. Unfortunately, this hazy, global supply chain creates a lack of transparency and encourages unregulated working conditions.

As multinational companies rely on offshore production, they often do not have control over their supply chains. In these conditions, forced labour or illegally low wages often occur. And in these factories, workers may be subject to unsafe facilities and illegal work practices.

Check out our tips for building a more ethical wardrobe here.

Other ways to help

Here are just a few ways you can get involved and support victims/survivors of modern slavery:

Follow Our Cause: https://facebook.com/freedomhuborg
Read our News: https://linkedin.com/company/the-freedom-hub
Gift a Survivor for Christmas: https://bit.ly/survivor-gift
Host a High Tea for Humanity in the first week of December: info@thefreedomhub.org
Join a volunteer Team in your Local area: https://bit.ly/TFHvolunteer
Come to our High Tea for Humanity in Sydney Waterloo: https://bit.ly/TFHhigh-tea
Come to our Freedom Fair Ethical Christmas Market: thefreedomhub.org/freedom-fair