Slavery did not end with abolition in the 19th century.[source]
Most of the time we buy something, the global production chain will have been involved. I don't think there are many products that have been entirely made and assembled in e.g. Germany, that I have the pleasure to use in everyday life.
Machines, electrical devices, kitchenware, clothes, shoes, my sewing machines, even food... produced and/or assembled on other continents. But under which conditions? I don't know. Sometimes I don't even find a tag that indicates where an item was made. Or it's "assembled" in Italy. Or "distributed by XXX, Holland", the origin completely blurred.
I am not against products from other countries, absolutely not. But in the open presence of competition for the lowest price and the biggest profit margin, it makes you wonder, how things are made. TOday I would like to draw your attention to Modern Slavery.
What forms of Slavery exist today?
- Forced labour and bonded labour
- Human trafficking
- Descent-based slavery
- Worst forms of child labour
- Slavery in supply chains
- Forced and early marriage
Of course none of us wants to contribute to Modern Slavery, yet consumer societies are one factor to sustain these systems.
What are my personal conclusions from knowing about it?
If I can, I make things myself.
Obviously, I cannot make everything myself and we are not able to be completely independent from the world of consumerism, and I also don't think that's where I want to go. What I am trying to do is to shop for local products. As local as possible. Freiburg, Badenia, Germany, Europe. I also believe that if you stop looking for the cheapest possible way to buy something (e.g. electrical appliances, machines) but go for traditional and well-settled companies, you might have the chance to get at least partly-locally made. Of course you could always go and ask the company about the exact origins of their ware. And you can spread the impact of your purchses. Don't buy clothes from just one place. Don't only eat bananas. :)
And most of all - with all of the above in mind: just buy what you need and what adds lasting value to your life.
|from wikipedia anti-consumerism|
Did you know wikipedia features a list of Anti-Consumerists? Neither did I - until today. :)
It includes Diogenes of Sinope, Kurt Cobain, and many more. :)