CategoryEthical Consumption

My day at IKEA, a symbol of hope or a sign of doom?


I am surrounded by a wall of sound. The low rumble of trolleys laden with meals, like whispered thunder. The chinking of cutlery on crockery. A cacophony of voices. Crying babies. Excited five-year-olds. Wearied parents. Lovestruck couples. Welcome to IKEA, where consumerism has become a form of recreation. It seems that for many going to IKEA is an experience to be enjoyed, an outing to look...

No Tony, economic growth is not the answer to everything


In his speech to the World Economic Forum  last week, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot made this incredible statement: As always, stronger economic growth is the key to addressing almost every global problem. It summed up the direction of the speech, which was a plea for small government and freer markets. But if the two greatest global problems of our time are extreme poverty and...

Is Fairtrade Fair or Am I a Naive Do-Gooder Who is Hurting the Poor?


What do you do when you discover that the Bangladeshi woman who sewed your new T-shirt gets paid so little that she lives in dire poverty, or that the football you kick around was made by an Indian child whose entire family stitch soccer balls for the princely sum of 70 cents a day, or that Nike was at one point paying Tiger Woods more to promote its products that the entire Indonesian workforce...

Dancing with the Devil. Nestle, Chocolate and Child Labour


The world’s largest food company, Nestle, does not have a good reputation with advocates for justice. For years the company has been accused of aggressively marketing infant formula to women in the developing world, leading them to preference formula over breast milk, at great risk to baby health. For example,  a 2013 report by Save the Children estimates that breastfeeding in the first...

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