Does reality bite? It would seem so – Yours Truly felt really sick after seeing this survey’s results. Now, it might not necessarily be a very precise one, but it’s a very painful reality check.
Trafficking, slavery, these horrific topics do make the news every now and then, but the question is: do You know how exactly they affect the things you personally own? How can you know?
I’ll tell you: it’s all in the raw materials – the mines, the boats, the fields – the devil is in the supply chain.
A green brand’s lipstick can contain both conflict palm oil and mica from child labour; a local artisan jeweller can work with unethical gold and gemstones. That’s why sourcing is such an important issue. That’s why we, consumers, can’t be critical enough.
It’s the supply chain that hides cruelty towards animals (conflict palm oil), the slavery (platinum mines, mica mines), wars (blood diamonds), environmental destruction and toxicity (denim, gold mining), all these evils and more. The smartphones and the sports shoes, the jeans and the nail polishes, all stained by their blameful pedigree.
The survey made by SlaveryFootprint.org points out that there are 27 million slaves worldwide today.
We’re not living in a free world yet, and the supply chains make it incredibly hard for us consumers to vote with our money – the brands and even the companies may be different, but the raw materials, these are very often the same.
Share with me your thoughts after you’re finished!
What were your weakest areas, was it food, electronics, or fashion?
Were you surprised? Did you expect a poor result?
What will you do?
How do you feel about it?*
* Mine was electronics.
Guilty as charged (no pun intended), but by simply owning a tv, a laptop, a smartphone, it’s all cling together, swing together. I was not surprised. I feel helpless, sad, extremely frustrated, appalled, horrified, and very angry. Some things are just not pretty dragged into light – but we must face them, otherwise there will be no change.
While the SlaveryFootprint.org survey might not be extremely precise (example: if you only buy local food from a local farmer, chances are your footprint is lower than the survey result suggests), it’s helpful for visualising the depth, the urgence, and the shaming omnipresence of the modern slavery problem.