At the entrance of a store of the Spanish shoe brand Natural World, I read:
“No child labour involved”.
How did it come to this.
That this latter is special.
So much so that it is used as Unique Selling Point.
This is the best of all times, and it’s the worst of all times: there are more slaves today than at any other point in history. Browsing for information online, estimates go from anywhere between 10 and 40 million people.
Not that there’s much information to find. Only those media who already tend to deliver a different perspective, or perspectives from “the other side”, such as RussiaToday, AlJazeera, Hurriyet or Haaretz, touch the subject. The mass media in The Old West remain silent in a 100 languages.
Whereas that estimation of 10-40 million only points to those whose situation is comparable to – or is – slavery; not even all the millions being exploited for our cheap clothes, food or oil.
What can we do, what can we do?
Be aware of it, for a starters.
Seek daily, as some Muslims would say.
And, next, not let our conscience get shushed so, oh so very easily and quickly.
Thirdly, not let all those brands we fill our houses with, get away with things so easily, without even the slightest slice of a sliver of a sign that someone somewhere is even paying attention. Or enough attention or care to postpone a purchase.
Livin’ la vida local
I walked into that store and just had to ask the sales clerk: “How much of that sales story is true“?
How did it come to this?
That we find it a given that we’re being lied to. We would almost fully accept it if the slogans were merely “marketing-technical”.
And how will we ever discover the difference?
Will you, or any journalist anywhere, start following the product, all the way back to the harbors and ships and via wholesalers to factories and sweatshops?
Personally I try to be “local” as much as I can, where ever I can.
To ensure I know the farmer or region of the farms, for only that way I know there was no exploitation. To ensure I know the carpenter or sewist.
The added advantages to working locally, are the clear ecological component (far less needs to travel across the globe), and the health of the local economy (local farmers not impoverishing because they can’t compete with the cheap far-away produce of supermarkets).
In that sense, “100% made in Spain“, does do it for me.
Yes, here too thousands of illegals are used/abused in the greenhouses.
Their percentage in comparison to the population as a whole, is in no comparison to many other countries. In today’s Ethical Lottery, we do optimize our chances when going local.
Since it’s what I’m busy trying to read right now, I just can’t refrain from thinking about these 2 lines from the Quran:
“A time will come when a man will not care about how he gets things, whether lawful or unlawful“.
Whether these are those times, or whether times have always been like this, I cannot tell. I’m only experiencing this era. It would benefit everyone though if media and the schooling system would stop fighting the wars and problems of the past, and educate a TAD on those of today.