Will You Dare Casting A Light On YOUR Slavery Footprint? | Critical Consumer Quest #5

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. 

We’ll be talking, of course, about the award-winning website SlaveryFootprint.orgslaveryfootprint-org_survey

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.

Now, Adventurer… Are you ready to cast a light on the consequences of your lifestyle choices and see how many slaves work for You?cast-a-light

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.light-and-darkness

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.



Geeking out about all things truly green, healthy and ethical over at BEAUTYCALYPSE.com (Avatar illustration by A. Goncharenko)

10 Responses

  1. Heather in Arles

    Interesting and super informative but like Rose, there are some areas that weren’t specific enough in the food areas and the brands that were linked were mostly American…still, a major eye opener.

  2. I didn’t do the fine-tuning, and the clothing section wouldn’t work properly, so I have 47 slaves working for me. I wasn’t surprised that electronics contributed to my score even though I am a technophobe! My food shouldn’t contribute much to slavery as it is mostly locally sourced. There is supposedly no slavery in New Zealand, although many would say that many wages are not living wages. Very good to do the survey.

  3. Wow, that’s eye opening, I considered myself pretty non-consumerist but, without doing the fine tuning in the survey, 29 slaves work for me. I do go to Farmer’s Markets so that would affect my score but even so ….

    Thanks, thought provoking as always.

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