We are certainly getting near the end of the year now, I can see it just there. Last week I had the first Christmas lunch for the season with some amazing women, they are artists and crafters and writers and have incredible imagination, talent, compassion and love, and they all have a wonderful laugh. I am so thankful they are in my life :)
Our number one and only son finishes school this week and next year is in Year 10, can't believe it, he is still a skinny thing, though is now getting taller and starting to broaden in the shoulders. So eight weeks off school and we have to have a plan. There will be painting and drawing, building and mowing and he will also once a week go off to work with my partner in crime and life.
I also expect these bags to last for at least 200 years for the time, effort, broken needle, bent pins and the physiological trauma. Yet we expect to buy things, new, for $5 and $10 with no thought for the person who made it, and if it breaks tomorrow well, they are only cheap so we will go buy another. Is there an eight year old child out there making our goods for just enough money to survive on and don’t’ tell me they should be thankful for a job that only pays them just enough to survive on and not being able to go to school, instead of having no job, because that is not good enough.
Parents who barely have enough money to feed their kids, and they are probably still hungry anyway, or can just put a roof over their heads, don’t tell me they should be thankful for only JUST being able to do these things. Have you seen the documentaries that show the conditions that some of these people live in? I know it isn’t always like this but it is like this a lot.
So when I make these very simple things (and get frustrated as it takes me about twenty times the amount of time I think it should) I think of people around the world making products to earn just enough to buy food for that day just so we can pay a pittance for something because we don’t want to spend a few dollars more so that people can be paid a fair wage and so that children can be children and get an education.
So while you are out spending all that money for presents for family and friends, just think about who has made the product and how do you think they will spend Christmas. If they only earn enough to survive day to day, I don’t’ think they will be having Christmas, and yet we really didn’t want to pay more than $5 for that top or pair of shorts or $2 for that toy.
We should pay a fair price for our products, we should value our things more and we should not take more than our share. So while out shopping with the crazy people, while pushing past people and small children in your rush to buy that thing that is on special and you only have to pay $12 for it rather than say $20, just stop and think. Has someone been paid a fair wage for the work they put in to this thing you are about to buy? Because I can tell you, that if you had to make this thing yourself, you would demand a hell of a lot more than just enough to eat for the day.
Take a look at these articles if you don't believe me and think about some ethical gifts this Christmas, or even just making sure you know about the product you are buying. The amount of articles are endless and I dare you not to cry.
Workers exploited in Melbourne sweat shops
Living in a garbage tip
Nestle 'to act over child labour in cocoa industry'
Look at this.
Child sweatshop shame threatens Gap's ethical image
Nike Shoes and Child Labor in Pakistan
Sweat shops in Australia