Which brands to you always buy? Are there certain products that you always purchase? The same coffee? The same chocolate? The same type of shoes? The same car?
Did you ever stop and ask yourself, “Why did I purchase this pair of running shoes instead of another brand?” “Why do I shop at grocery store X instead of store Y?”
Do you feel more drawn to one company than another? I think we all like to have some kind of connection (emotional, price or social commitment) to our purchasing choices. We have many different ways as a consumer that we can exemplify our power of choice.
What are the factors that shape your decisions?
A radical new shopping platform – TOMS…
By opening up to new ways of giving, we can address a whole new world of needs. After all, if you want to create change, you have to be open to change yourself. Join us, and let’s do even more good together.
Toms is sharing a new website with 30 other social entrepreneurs showcasing over 200 products for ethical business.
Do you holiday shopping on one website this year! There is everything from bicycles to beads! This is a great idea to help showcase products that are produced with sustainable intentions. The products available give back in different ways. Some of the companies provide improved livelihoods and economic opportunity to individuals who otherwise might not find employment. Other companies use a portion of their proceeds to support:
- Fight Hunger
- Job Creation
One thing they all have in common is the belief that everyday purchases can create positive change!
Another great way to insure that the products that you buy are produced with ethical business standards is to buy from your local business. You can ask the shop employees/owners about their inventory and policies regarding the products they sell.
Just recently I visited a local merchant, Zens. I found a beautiful assortment of hand crafted jewelry and native designs. I asked the owner about the wonderful selection of scarves. She reported that the designers that she buys from are very interested in safe working conditions and no child labor. So, don’t be afraid to ask about the products before you make a purchase. Dare to care!
Make some changes in our Christmas/Holiday shopping and buy products that support a positive influence in other lives and communities!
Check out the link above for easy holiday shopping!
Week 3 of 4 – Corporate Social Responsibility Leaders
HELLOOO! Well, this is pretty sad. It was very hard to find cosmetic companies that are actually claiming to practice fair trade principles! Several companies focus on animal rights and do not test on animals (which is also a very good thing!). But not too many cosmetic industry leaders are flexing their Fair Trade or Ethical Business mucles.
So, I guess this could be a good time to start putting a focus on the cosmetic industry to shape up their business practices. From my findings (yes, insert disclaimer here) there was only one clear winner: THE BODY SHOP
THE BODY SHOP was awarded the Responsible Business of 2013.
- Launched Community Fair Trade in 1987
- 85% of The Body Shop’s product range contains Community Fair Trade ingredients.
- Program benefits over 320,000 people
- Spanning 21 countries worldwide.
The Body Shop has 25 Community Fair Trade supplies in the following ingredients:
- Accessories from India
- Aloe from Guatemala
- Hemp from England
- Maurula from Namibia
- Alcohol from Ecuador
- Brazil Nut from Peru
- Honey from Ethiopia
- Paper from Napal
- Shea from Ghana
- Tea Tree from Kenya
I know there are some up and coming skin care lines that are focusing on Environmental and Social Responsibilities practices. One of the local brands in my neighborhood is Kalahari Ancient Desert Secrets.
Obviously there are companies that are finding a niche in the ever growing popularity of Fair Trade. They are capitalizing on a market. (that’s the cynic in me talking) But that is not always for the bad. Fair Trade marketing is creating an awareness that is good for the whole of the supply chain and the consumer. I will be looking into the checks and balances of the Fair Trade system next week in my final number for the Corporate Social Responsibility series.
Free2Work app does not even have a Cosmetics Industry. Download the app and activate the request for evaluation. Happy Friday!
Week 2 of 4 – Corporate Social Responsibility Leaders
Times are changing! Isn’t this exciting? Leaders in the fashion industry are beginning to make changes in the way they do business. These three brands are leaders in fashion and in Fair Trade as well.
Eileen Fisher(B+) Zara (A-) and Timberland(A-) have received a rating of at least a B+ by the Free2Work organization.
Apparel industry leaders are quickly adapting to the call of the consumer for ethical business practices and are making changes in the purchasing of cotton and labor practices. Here are how the companies are ranked for Fair Trade:
- Code of Conduct & Written Policies: Evaluated by a brands code of conduct, its sourcing and subcontracting policies, and its involvement with other organizations working to combat child labor and forced labor.
- Transparency and Traceability: How the brand understands its own supply chain and whether it discloses critical information to the public regarding child and forced labor.
- Monitoring & Training: The adequacy of the brand’s monitoring program to address child and forced labor.
- Worker Empowerment & Remediation: Assess the degree to which the band provides workers with core labor protections and rights such as freedom of association and living wage. Also how a brand is prepared to respond to reported abuses.
*Research relies on publicly available information and company sources of information.
This description was found on the Free2work.org app that is available for smartphones.
Download and do some fun smart and responsible shopping. Happy Friday!
Week 1b of 4 – Corporate Social Responsibility Leaders
Nespresso AAA Ecolaboration was launched in 2009.
Working with all levels of the Value Chain, Nespresso will focus on education of the local famers as one of their priorities. One small step from a corporate giant can have a huge and powerful impact on the lives of the famers that they work in the coffee fields in Guatemala.
You can read more about one of the farmers that has participated in the Nespresso AAA program. He has learned more efficient methods of farming thus reducing time and removing child labor from his fields.
Read more about Louis Alfonso, Coffee Farmer, Jardin, Columbia.
Last night I ran to the near by shopping mall. As we were driving into the parking garage I noticed a large billboard on the side of the building. It was a huge picture of Fair Trade roses from Mester Grønn! Yeah! That was great advertising! Then when we got inside I noticed another sign at a cosmetic shop for Fair Trade makeup!
The Norwegian division of Fair Trade has taken a very direct approach to engaging the independent counties to make a commitment to encouraging Fair Trade business. Great job, it is working!
“A man can work from sun to sun, but a mother’s job is never done.”
Okay, I know, I know! There are some very nurturing fathers out there too! It just so happens that I myself am a mother, and that’s just my opinion! (wink!)
Our children are like little sponges that absorb everything we say and everything we don’t say; everything we do and everything we don’t do. We can make huge advances for change by first making small adjustments in our behavior or purchasing habits. I know that creating awareness for Fair Trade purchases will take time. But before we can make changes in our thinking we need to make changes in our behavior. As I mentioned in a previous post, www.kimberlycares.wordpress.com/2013/07/17/buiding-of-the-new-the-secret-to-change/, the labeling on the products make it much easier to chose Fair Trade products when we are given a choice. So when you see any of the following products you can aslo look for the Fair Trade label!
Here’s a suggestion, try this the next time you have your children with you while grocery or clothes shopping: Give them a challenge to look for an ingredient/item on your shopping list that has a Fair Trade label. Here are some products that are ethically produced or sustainable harvested and sold:
Cotton and Linen
Beans and Grains
Body Care (Brazilian nuts are found in a lot of our makeup)
Flowers and Plants
Fruits and Vegetables
Herbs and Spices
Nuts and Oilseeds
For more information about how you can make Fair Trade purchases and help support other families, follow the link for Fair Trade USA (every purchase matters) http://www.fairtradeusa.org/products-partners
There are Fair Trade websites for many other countries, for example you can search for your country of choice and you may find a designated county site. I found http://www.fairtrade.no for Norway this winter. It has been a big inspiration for my quest for more information about Fair Trade products and retailers in my area. Good Luck!