Friday, January 13, 2012

The Next Frontier

I've talked about Fair Trade and ethical consumerism extensively and I've been happy to report that I now have a handle on which consumables and clothes retailers I can count on to provide me with the peace of mind that comes with knowing my purchase supported a fair wage for others.

The next phase of my mission is to find electronics that are ethical but this is really hard y'all! I've made my dislike of Apple very clear but the truth is ALL ELECTRONICS get their pieces from overseas factories and nearly all these factories have deplorable working conditions.

I'm currently feeling overwhelmed because I can't get away from it! With my coffee, chocolate, and my clothing I was able to step back but with electronics it is impossible unless you go completely off the grid! I don't know about y'all but I like the grid (maybe not so much as know who you tweets every 10 minutes, FB status updates on what you ate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner...).

For example, I have been going back and forth about buying a Kindle. Let's look at the pros and cons shall we?

Pros: Very green. I can purchase my textbooks and save not only paper but fuel and carbon emissions because they won't need to ship anything.

Cons: Horrible working conditions for the people that make them. By buying one, I am supporting this business model.

Talk about cognitive dissonance! I can help save the environment while contributing to abject conditions for human beings. I don't know y'all, I'm kinda sad and frustrated. I hope that we now move towards a fair trade mentality with our electronics.

A good article to read on this:

Fair Trade Electronics?

A wonderful segment on this issue:

Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory

What do y'all think? Would you buy electronics if they were fair trade?

- A


  1. I would definitely buy electronics (even though I am behind the times on technology:) if they were fair trade. The important thing to remember here is that we can't just stop buying items because slave labour might have been used because usually, each product is a mix of slave and paid labour. By not buying a product, we penalize the owner who pays his/her employees and make the issue of cheap labour more pronounced. As consumers, we should demand fair practices and paid labour for anyone! Krasi

    1. The question is how do we demand fair practices? Letter writing, protesting?

      - A