The Shy Activist- Factory Farms, Greenhouse Gases and Waterways

“Producing one pound of beef takes an estimated 1,581 gallons of water, which is roughly as much as the average American uses in 100 showers.” 

How does meat making pollute our air, land and water? 

In the US 10 billion animals per year are produced for consumption of meat, dairy and eggs. The affect of this on our land is a third of the world’s carbon footprint. “Greenhouse gases such as water vapour, methane and carbon dioxide stop heat escaping from the Earth into space. An increased greenhouse effect can lead to global warming and climate change.”

So how exactly does factory farming affect the environment?

  • 37% of methane emissions result from factory farming. Methane is “70 times more damaging per ton to the earth’s atmosphere than CO2″.

In the US factory farms produce 1 million tons of manure a day which is often stored in open air lagoons. When the lagoons have reached capacity the manure is spread in the surrounding areas rather than be transported to a waste facility (to save money).

  • 65% Nitrous Oxide emissions result from factory farming. Nitrous Oxide is 200 times more damaging than a ton of CO2.

Genetically modified corn and soy is grown to feed animals. The large amount of pesticides used to grow the feed emits nitrous oxides. “Livestock feed production, like human food production, often involves large applications of nitrogen based fertilizer to agricultural soils. This in-turn results in nitrification and denitrification in the soil and the release of nitrous oxide to the atmosphere.”

  • Enough carbon is being released into the atmosphere to increase the rate of global warming by 50 percent

“Clearing land to grow soybeans in the Amazon rainforest is responsible for clearing over 100 million hectares of forest…In the United States alone, over 260 million acres of forest have been cleared to make room for crop fields, most of which are used to exclusively grow livestock feed. “

  • Animal poop lagoons contaminate local waterways

“When these by-products get into local water ways, they cause toxic algae blooms which lead to “dead zones” and massive fish kills. High levels of nitrates in drinking water can cause spontaneous abortions and blue baby syndrome and bacteria outbreaks from agricultural water pollution is responsible for several disease outbreaks across the United States.”

So what to do?

  1. You could reduce your meat intake. It does’t mean that you have to become a vegetarian if that concept sounds blasphemous to you. You could have Meatless Monday’s or have meat as a treat in the weekends.
  2. Purchase local and organic produce. You may have a local farm that sells their own meat or there are farms such as willowbrook farm who raise animals ethically and sustainably.
  3. Do not give your money to businesses who do not care for our environment! If we continue to fund them they will continue to take advantage of the environment and the animals.

FAIR FAVOURITES

Fomi

“FOMI handbags and shoes are a testament to the fact that it is possible for fashion companies to ethically produce luxury goods in Africa, without compromising on quality and craftsmanship. Afomia believes that the fashion manufacturing industry could prove to be a vital economic sector for Africa. It is her hope that other companies will recognize this potential and explore the possibilities that exist there.”

ESHI OXFORD ( OPEN and CLOSED)

Sources and further reading

https://thinkprogress.org/methane-emissions-are-spiking-but-it-might-be-more-cow-than-car-791e5233dc2a

https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-factory-farms-and-environment

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/factory-farming-is-killing-the-environment/

https://www.farmsanctuary.org/learn/factory-farming/factory-farming-and-the-environment/

http://www.collective-evolution.com/2017/04/12/heres-the-environmental-impact-of-the-foods-we-eat-how-you-can-reduce-your-footprint/

http://www.ecowatch.com/how-factory-farming-contributes-to-global-warming-1881690535.html

http://www.ghgonline.org/nitrouslivestock.htm

www.bbc.co.uk%2Fschools%2Fgcsebitesize%2Fscience%2Focr_gateway%2Fenergy_resources%2Fglobal_warmingrev1.shtml&usg=AFQjCNGinf1g7BavHt01W4Bb3YZPejVO6w&sig2=_6JQb-2H6_PYpzmBFzDV1g

The Shy Activist- 99 problems and Microbeads are one

Everyday we wash with shampoo, shower gel, face scrubs and toothpaste. 

Have you considered the impact your everyday essentials might have on the environment? 

Microbeads are tiny plastic beads that are used in our personal care products. On average there are 100,000 microbes used in products to refresh and exfoliate our skin.

Microbes are made from “Polyethylene, but are sometimes constructed of other petrochemical plastics like polystyrene and polypropylene. These tiny, seemingly harmless particles are having a giant impact on the environment – so much so that they are now regulated by the US government.”

After we finish scrubbing our skin and teeth microbeads flow down the drain and because they are so small they aren’t caught in sewage treatment plants. They then wash into rivers and canals and sewage sludge fertiliser. 

These microbeads aren’t biodegradable and research suggests that “animals right at the bottom of the food chain are ingesting it and we worry what impact that will have higher up the food chain.” 663 species of marine life are affected in oceanic gyres, bays, gulfs and seas worldwide.

Alternatives

Always check the ingredients of the products you buy to make sure there are no microbeads in them. You can buy products that use natural, biodegradable exfoliants like sea salt, crushed shells, sugar, sand, and ground bark. Big brands are less likely to give up the habit but you can find lot’s of other brands who do; Lush, Green people, Antipodes. Check ethicalsuperstore for more or make your own!

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Fair Favourites

Inayah has beautiful clothing that is always quite loose fitting and comfortable.

Inayah’s ethics-

Our main priority is to maintain an ethical approach towards all aspects of our business. INAYAH’s foundation is based upon care and uncompromising ethical practise, to ensure fair and honest business dealings. We work exclusively with small family run production units, that pay fair wages to their workers whilst providing them with good working conditions. Before we collaborate with a factory, we assess working conditions, wages and their business practises, to determine whether or not they will deliver a quality, ethical service.

Warm Sand Draped Gown With Flare

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Nude Rayon Blend Top

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Navy Wide Leg Trousers

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Stone Maxi Dress With Binding Detail

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Sources

http://greenspirit.com/beauty-environment/

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/shortcuts/2016/aug/24/ban-on-microbeads-tiny-objects-massive-problem-environment-cosmetics

http://www.express.co.uk/news/nature/705015/microbeads-what-are-plastic-particles-which-products-toothpaste-face-wash-scrub-cleaning

http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/35261018/why-microbeads-in-shower-gels-are-bad-for-marine-life

http://www.ethicalsuperstore.com/category/beauty-health-and-wellbeing/skin-care/cleanser-toner-and-facewash/?page=2

The Shy Activist- Dyeing for Water

Well actually water for dyeing. A trillion gallons of water is used for dyeing to be exact.

Today’s post explores toxic dyes in the textile industry.

Before the synthetic dyeing industry, dyes were made from exotic plants, insects or sea life. The dyeing industry was born accidentally when an English chemist was searching for the cure for malaria. Unfortunately the new discovery had a devastating impact on the environment.

Now dye formulations, colorants and finishing chemicals make up the 20,000 chemical substances used in the textile industry. These chemicals create the beautiful colours we love to wear.

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Affect of dyes on workers

Chemical dyes can cause health problems for garment workers. They can get diseases which cause their skin to peel off and become discoloured. “In the nineteenth century, little regard was paid to the safety and of dye worker labor conditions. However, it soon became apparent that there were deadly risks to workers who manufactured chemical dyes and who dyed garments.Even today, Japanese dye workers are at higher risk of tumors. And in the United States, deaths amongst factory workers exposed to dyes in their work suffer from several diseases, including cancers, cerebrovascular disease and lung disease at significantly levels than the general population – up to 40 times higher incidence, for some afflictions.”

Affect of dyes on the environment

Indonesia’s Ciratum river is one of the biggest rivers in the world…and one of the most polluted. 

Before the 80′s people had fond memories of the river. It was clean and full of fish. Similarly there are for memories of the Nayyal river in India where a factory owner remembers playing on the banks as a child.

Now the river’s are full of rubbish and chemicals that are deadly to humans and aquatic life. 

Greenpeace described the discharge from one of factories on the banks of Ciratum river as “highly caustic, will burn human skin coming into direct contact with the stream and will have a severe impact (most likely fatal) on aquatic life in the immediate vicinity of the discharge area.”

The chemically saturated water is carried onto fields and affects the soil. The crops are then affected and this “can be observed through symptoms like plaque in teeth, joint pain and grey hair of villagers.”

Does the damage end there?

The chemical nonylphenol stays on clothes and only comes out after two washes. Clothes with this chemical are banned in EU member states but not in the US.

Now what?

Factory Owners

Factory owners like Eswaran, who reminisces of the days when the banks of the Citarum river were safe for children, are “investing in organic farming, natural dyes and a transparent supply chain”.

“Though doubtful at first about the change, Eswaran says he has found that the smaller quantities with higher profit margins characteristic of the organic industry can be profitable. “Before it was about large quantities, and small margins. Now it’s the opposite,” he says.”

Natural dyes have minimal environmental impact, they are renewable and safe. Unfortunately they are more costly and aren’t always as vibrant as synthetic colours. The industry is also affected by seasonal changes and availability of raw materials.

Consumers

What can we do? We can demand that the fashion industry take this issue seriously.

Manikam, CEO of a company that sells 500 tons of indigo, says he could produce more natural indigo if enough textile and clothing manufacturers sought it out.

Greenpeace

“Since 2011 the Detox campaign has challenged some of the world’s most popular clothing brands to eliminate all releases of hazardous chemicals.

Thanks to the action of over half a million designers, bloggers, fashion fans and activists twenty global fashion leaders, from adidas to Zara, have made a commitment to Detox their clothes. Many of these brands are now taking action – taking steps to create toxic-free fashion on behalf of their customers, the local communities and future generations.”

Technology

“Waterless dye technologies have been developed, but have not yet been deployed at most manufacturing sites. The textile industry, which has been using copious amounts of water to dye garments for hundreds of years, may be reluctant to embrace this change. After all, this new technology is expensive to install and only works on certain fabrics.”

Phil Patterson, a consultant to textile companies globally and director of UK-based Colour Connections believes “Ultimately, the problem hinges on a larger issue. “The world has gone consumption-mad…As a result there are enormous amounts of textiles produced.” He argues that consuming less is the only way to make an impact in the long run.”

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FAIR FAVOURITES- Everlane

Everlanes values are- Know your factories. Know your costs. Always ask why.

Their website is transparent about the factories that they use. Read more here https://www.everlane.com/about.

The Cotton Long-Sleeve Crew

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The Wide Leg Crop Pant

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The Japanese GoWeave Sleeveless V-Neck Dress

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The Ribbed Wool-Cashmere Crew

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Sources:

http://www.ecowatch.com/fast-fashion-is-the-second-dirtiest-industry-in-the-world-next-to-big–1882083445.html

http://www.academia.edu/10336217/Assessment_of_Toxicity_of_Textile_Dyes_and_Chemicals_via_Materials_Safety_Data_Sheets

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/the-dirty-secret-about-your-clothes/2016/12/30/715ed0e6-bb20-11e6-94ac-3d324840106c_story.html?utm_term=.2734af7f87ce

https://artfulscout.com/blogs/news/why-nature-loves-plant-dyes

https://undark.org/article/indonesia-textiles-citarum-river-pollution/

https://zady.com/features/the-history-of-fabric-dye

http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/detox/fashion/

The Shy Activist- 900 Days of Water or a Shirt?

Before you buy your next new outfit maybe you can consider how much water was used to make each single part of that outfit. This week we explore water consumption in fast fashion.

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How much water is hiding in the behind the pretty clothes we buy?

  • 900 days of water = one t shirt
  • 1000 bathtubs of water = one household’s fashion water consumption per year
  • 7000 litres of water = pair of jeans

How does our fast fashion water consumption affect the environment?

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“In the 1950s, two rivers in Central Asia, the Amu Darya and and the Syr Darya, were diverted from the Aral sea to provide irrigation for cotton production in Uzbekistan and nearby Turkmenistan. 

Today, water levels in the Aral are less than 10 percent of what they were 50 years ago. As the Aral dried up, fisheries and the communities that relied on them failed. Over time, the sea became over-salinated and laden with fertilizer and pesticides from the nearby fields. Dust from the dry, exposed lakebed, containing these chemicals and salt saturated the air, creating a public health crisis and settling onto farm fields, contaminating the soil. 

The Aral is rapidly becoming a dry sea and the loss of the moderating influence that such a large body of water has on the weather has made the region’s winters much colder and summers hotter and drier.

While Uzbekistan is an extreme example of how cotton farming can wreak havoc on the environment, the impact of cotton agriculture is felt in other regions, including Pakistan’s Indus River, Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin and the Rio Grande in the U.S. and Mexico.”

What can be done?

  • Levi’s have used recycled water successfully to create 100,000 pairs of jeans. That’s pretty impressive. However the likelihood of this happening depends on the region’s policy about clean water. ”It is likely to be adopted far faster in China than in Bangladesh, because cleaner production is part of government policy in China, along with a gradual increase in water recycling in specific sectors.”
  • These five south asian manufacturers are tackling water consumption by installing waterless washing machines, using rain water harvesting technology and purifying waste water.

Cotton is the least sustainable fibre but…

  • The key to economic development to many countries is the fashion industry. So rather than moving the industry to region with more water supply The Better Cotton initiative aims to make global cotton production better for the 250 million people who produce it, better for the environment it grows in and better for the sector’s future.
  • Cotton could be replaced by CRAiLAR, a class B fibre which, like linen, comes from the fast-growing flax plant. CRAiLAR is turned into a fibre more like cotton when spun using a particular enzyme process.

What can we (consumers) do?

  • We can extend the life of our garments. If we did this by 9 months we could say 5-10% water consumption. Not much, but gives you something to think about
  • Put pressure on brands to ensure they are taking steps towards sustainable water consumption
  • Recycle and up-cycle clothes (come to a swapshop!)
  • We can buy certified organic cotton garments. Have a look at this comparison taken from Ecooutfitters:
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FAIR FAVOURITES

This week’s fair favourites are Yunit. I love their small collection and unisex style. 

“Yunit is produced under fair conditions and all items are made as sustainable as possible.” 

Could you describe Yunit Studio’s social responsibility?
We work with small production houses which we personally selected. These production houses are selected because they highly value the staff and their working environment. We can guarantee they are paid a good wage and their children are in school.

And what about environmental responsibility?
Yunit Studio works as much as possible with organic cotton. We always discuss with our supplier what the best possibilities are to produce and transport in a sustainable way. You can find more information about this subject in our Weekly.

SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING

Choose Repack and receive your order in a re-usable package. Once you have received your goods, you can simply return the packaging for free.

LOU LONGSLEEVE STRIPED

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BOBBY SWEAT PALE BLUSH

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PUCK DRESS GREY MELANGE

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SOURCES USED TO WRITE THIS:

http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/makingwaves/fast-fashion-drowning-world-fashion-revolution/blog/56222/

http://www.triplepundit.com/2016/12/high-environmental-cost-fast-fashion/#

http://www.ecooutfitters.co.uk/blog/fast-fashion-the-destruction-of-developing-countries/

http://www.ecowatch.com/fast-fashion-is-the-second-dirtiest-industry-in-the-world-next-to-big–1882083445.html

https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/sustainable-fashion-blog/2014/sep/04/10-things-to-know-water-impact-fashion-industry

http://bettercotton.org

https://www.crailar-fti.com

http://www.ecooutfitters.co.uk/blog/fast-fashion-the-destruction-of-developing-countries/

http://goodonyou.eco/fashion-and-water-the-thirsty-industry/

The Shy Activist- Balcony Grown Food

As a child I bought a daffodil bulb every spring and it never grew. I started volunteering at the farm because I wanted to learn how to grow things. After successfully growing vegetables at the farm I think I will venture into growing things at home.

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So the general rules I have picked up from gardening at the farm are:

  • seeds should be planted as deep as their size
  • when you transport plants from containers to the ground you should make sure the ground is as firm around the plant as it is everywhere else 
  • sometimes you can plant more than one seed together like when planting basil or rocket
  • sometimes you have to plant one on its own like lettuce
  • When planting them in the ground, the space you leave between plants depends on the plants. You can plant pak choi and lettuce 7-9 inches apart. Whereas Mizuna can be planted 1 inch apart

My first gardening manager would always check the firmness and tell me exactly how many centimeters seeds need to be buried or inches apart plants should be. 

My new gardening manager is much more lax and just drops seeds in and covers them. Both ways have successfully germinated seeds!

I actually prefer when my plants were always checked to make sure that I’ve done it properly. One of the first plants I transplanted to the ground was chard and I checked it all every week to see the progress. I was paranoid that my bad luck with the daffodils would ruin the farms food. I think I transplanted it in September and now I can see how beautifully they’ve grown when I harvest them for the cafe and farm shop.

Recently we sowed some seeds of basil, lavender, mint and fennel. These will be sold at the Easter fair so people who don’t have gardens can grow food at home.

So now I have some confidence that I’m not really terrible at growing food, I have been looking into what I can grow at home.

These are the things you can grow on a balcony (click each to get tips on how to grow them):

Although I have found it much easier than I initially thought it would be to grow food, it’s important to understand exactly how each plant should be cared for. For example tomatoes need a lot of fertiliser because the are heavy feeders while lettuce only needs it once or twice. Click here for tips on gardening in a balcony.

Wish me luck in this new adventure!

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FAIR FAVOURITES

This week’s fair favourites are Veja, a vegan fairtade footwear brand. They have a ‘vision which combines fair trade and ecology and links together economy, social initiatives and the environment.
A vision that proposes cultural change.
Transparency. 

Veja is an investigation, a project that is constantly evolving. This consistant development aims to reach perfection. Here are our limits.’

Read more about how they try and improve their supply chain and the limitations they face here.

Here are some of my favourites

V-10 EXTRA WHITE NAUTICO PEKIN

ESPLAR LEATHER 3 LOCKS SABLE

WATA JUTE NATURAL PIERRE

The Shy Activist- Is donating clothes to charity helpful?

If you have followed Oh So Ethical for a while you’ll know we hold swapshops now and then. One thing that really bugs me is when people think they can just donate clothes to us rather than actually take part in the swapping. 

Today’s post is about donating clothes and the affect it has on other countries.

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Many people want to donate clothes to charity that they’ve only worn a couple times or never even worn once. 30% of clothing in the average wardrobe doesn’t get worn according to research by Wrap. £140 million worth of clothes go to landfills every year in the UK and of the clothes donated to charity shops only 10-30% is sold in the UK. The rest is sold on to developing countries and then sold in their markets. This is how charities make money from unsold second hand clothes.

So if 81% of clothing purchases in developing countries are second hand clothes what does it mean for their own textile and garment industry?

  • Research by Andrew Brookes (lecturer in development geography) has found that this has led to an 80% fall in textile and clothing employment.
  • Second hand clothes are cheaper to buy than new clothes but even then they are still unaffordable
  • Stall holders do not have a choice in their stock so it is a risky business 
  • Foreign clothes do not match the traditional cultural needs
  • It makes developing countries dependant on the west, preventing them from progressing

So how did this happen?

Although developing countries planned to produce their own goods after colonialism, they have a huge debt to repay to the West, and therefore have had to relax the barriers of trade which had protected factories. Once they were open to imports their second hand industry boomed and their own industries failed and jobs were lost.

“One of the sad ironies of today’s globalised economy is that many cotton farmers and ex-factory workers in countries such as Zambia are now too poor to afford any clothes other than imported second-hand ones from the west, whereas 30 or 40 years ago they could buy locally produced new clothes.”

In 2016 countries in East Africa announced a plan to ban imports of second-hand clothes by 2019. The affect of this will be negative for those who rely on this industry for their income but it will give a chance of their own textile industry and economy to improve. It will give them a chance to develop and reduce their dependancy on the West.

So next time you want to get rid of your clothes consider the consequences.

And next time you want to buy something consider the consequences.

Swapshops are a great way to extend the life of clothes in a conscious way. We should take responsibility of our waste rather than dump it at someone else’s doorstep.

Fair Favourites

This week Fair Favourites are Maison Bengal. I first spotted these bags at Ganesha in Southbank and then the V&A.

“Maison Bengal was set-up in 2004 in order to help fight poverty in Bangladesh, working particularly with mothers and young women.
We work very closely with three fair trade organisations in country, each one best placed to identify the most marginalised communities in their area and provide training in handicraft production. Maison Bengal works with each group separately to utilise their locally grown natural materials and develop their renowned traditional skills. “

Small round jute macrame bag

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Hand woven jute bag

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Jute macrame shopping bag

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I found my information here:

http://www.wrap.org.uk/sites/files/wrap/VoC%20FINAL%20online%202012%2007%2011.pdf#page=2

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-30227025

https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/sustainable-fashion-blog/2015/feb/13/second-hand-clothes-charity-donations-africa

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/06/second-hand-clothing-donations-kenya

http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/news/EA-states-join-hands-to-ban-importation-of-used-clothes–cars/-/2558/2634876/-/nemwm8z/-/index.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-35706427

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/these-african-countries-dont-want-your-used-clothing-anymore_us_57cf19bce4b06a74c9f10dd6

Soomaiya Syeda- Child Exploitation VS Child Labour

Child labour is always exploitative…or is it. I want to explore why sometimes it isn’t considered exploitative.

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It seems obvious. If children work they miss out on a lot of things we consider to be vital; educational, physical, social and mental growth. As consumers are becoming more and more conscious about what bad business practices they are funding, calls for child labour to end have increased over the last few decades.

Most recent action against child labour was taken by Apple who discovered that their cobalt supplier Huayou employed children and suspended their operation. The Netherlands made human rights due diligence for the first time to cut child labour. They will be looking at suppliers and ensuring there is no human rights violation further down the supply chain.

Whilst it is a welcomed change that capitalist corporations are now trying to run their businesses more ethically, it does feel a little like greenwashing the situation. Greenwashing is when a company appears to be more ‘green’ but fails to truly minimise the environmental impact. In this instance it would be to understand why children have to work, rather than just cutting off their only source of income.

Child labour in the UK was reduced in 1880 with the Education Act which made education compulsory for children up to the age of 10. This age was raised to 15 in 1944, 16 in 1973 and then 17 in 2013. So the UK’s stance on education has dramatically changed only very recently. The policy that someone must be educated until 16 years of age is younger than my mum!

As the UK, a 1st world country, is still trying to understand what the best age to be educated until is, we have to consider that this is not going to be what is best for children in other countries.

We all know the history of colonisation and the whitewashing of cultures all over the world. This could be described as a way of whitewashing and greenwashing cultures that need us to understand them in order to better help, rather than forcing them to become like us, which could lead to more hardship.

In an interesting podcast the Guardian held with various people including those who work in charities, previous child workers (now adults) and government workers, child labour is explored in a different way. We see how child labour is an important role within a family. As a part of the family children must contribute to the wellbeing of the everyone. They may even work for their family business, or as described by an ex child worker, sell “jellies, I worked on mini vans opening the doors, charging the clients. Also in construction, I carried bricks, washed dishes, all kinds of work [that] I could find.” I can’t imagine that if a child’s income is vital to the family’s essential needs, they’ll have much chance of being able to afford an education. Therefore banning child labour could potentially lead to worse outcomes.

There is also line between child exploitation and child labour here. Another interviewee explains that the difference lies in the type of work for example child prostitution vs child labour in the ways mentioned before.

In 2013 Bolivia revised the code protecting the rights of children and adolescents to raise the age of children working to 14. This caused children to protest because this directly affected their livelihood and the government had to reduce to the age to 10.

This says a lot about the priorities of people in Bolivia, whether children or adults. They may agree that education is the best way forward for future generations so that they can avoid the hard work and physical toil, and increase chances of making better a better living. But this isn’t a reality that can be implemented today or even tomorrow.

In India educational policies have increased child literacy however children are increasingly dropping out of school to work for their families.

30% of people in India live below the poverty line and they have no contingency plans of what happens in cases of illness, poverty, death or other unexpected costs. As a debt adviser in East London I see the way unemployed and employed people in the UK have no contingency plans and are living day to day. I see clients who live on food bank vouchers or regularly have to borrow from friends and family. The difference is if they are capable to seek advice there is help out there in the form of debt and money advice charity services. Just living day to day becomes a job in itself.

Child exploitation is unacceptable but I am weary of trying to change a country/cultures social system by just suspended our operations. Although it is a good way to send the message to the company, the corporations should use their economic leverage for a better attempt at having a good impact. I also think we must consider and accept that how we believe is the right way to live can be completely different in a different place. In Bolivia they have their own child care act where they diagnose if a working place is suitable and necessary for a child but without funding they cannot implement this act. They cannot just put laws in place to resolve a situation.

We can think learn about this grey area between child labour and child exploitation to understand how to have a better impact on the world with our consumer power as well as any other super powers. For example; pressurising companies like Apple to do more than just suspend operations. They CAN do something about ensuring working conditions are better, like Bolivia intended to.

FAIR FAVOURITES

Mirembe Makes sells jewellery made in Uganda from recycled paper beads aswell as jewellery made in the UK from recycled glass beads from Ghana. All chains used in the jewellery made in the UK are sourced from charity shops and are then upcycled when they are combined with the beautiful colourful beads from Krobo, Ghana. Each of the pieces made in the UK are unique and no two are the same. To find out more about Mirembe Makes you can find them on instagram; @MirembeMakes or visit their website; www.mirembemakes.bigcartel.com

Mirembe Makes £10

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Mirembe Makes £13

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Mirembe Makes £15
 

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Mirembe Makes £15

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Mirembe Makes £10

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Mirembe Makes £15

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I got my information from these sources:

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/feb/24/is-child-labour-always-wrong-the-view-from-bolivia-podcast-transcript

https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/03/03/netherlandss-plan-cut-child-labor-out-products

http://news.trust.org/item/20170227145130-br2gz/

http://news.sky.com/story/child-miners-firm-refuses-to-apologise-over-cobalt-sourcing-10785313

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_labour#The_Industrial_Revolution

https://www.bl.uk/romantics-and-victorians/articles/child-labour

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/how-effective-are-social-security-and-welfare-in-india/article6823320.ece

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Social_Assistance_Scheme

Soomaiya Saturday- Eggs

In the UK we consume 12 billion eggs a year, and only 2% of these are organic. What is the difference between free range and organic?

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When I started to work at the farm I noticed that there were some chickens who looked like they were bullied by the other chickens. They are bald in areas and looked skinny and generally quite strange compared to the healthy looking chickens. I found out that these were rescued from battery farms. 

There is a very clear visible difference between the happy healthy chickens and the battery farm chickens and it’s really sad to see that difference. In the farm’s blog they describe how the battery chickens didn’t go outside for 2 weeks on their own without encouragement, showing a clear psychological impact from being at a battery farm. You can read about the chicken’s at the farm on the farms blog post.

So why do the organic chickens look so different from battery farm chickens, and how do free range chickens compare?

The egg farmer from Wirrebee South argues that it would be impossible to cater to the demand which will double by 2050, with organic farming- ‘farmers had moved to caged eggs in the 60s because of consumer demand for a cheaper, cleaner product.’

Like the exploitation in the garment industry, consumers can be seen as the force driving it. By creating a demand we are pushing for cheaper and faster products.

If you eat eggs and you want to be a conscious consumer you can look for the soil association logo when buying your eggs. The farm I work at is certified by the soil association and I can see how they live, with room to roam and to follow their natural behaviours. Let’s change that 2% to 100%. We are the change we want to see.

Fair Favourites

This weeks favourites are from Arthouse Meath. 

‘ARTHOUSE Meath presents the skills and talents of men and women living with complex epilepsy, learning and physical difficulties. With high quality artwork and products ARTHOUSE Meath aims to create a platform of positive change in attitude towards people who are often marginalised. 100% of sales revenue goes towards sustaining the enterprise, helping it to grow and evolve.’

Swim with Whales Forever Weekend Bag

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Beach Hut Snug Pyjama Set

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Keep Wildlife Wonderful Jug

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Birds Apron

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I got my information from the following sources:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/30/free-range-eggs-con-ethical

https://www.soilassociation.org/blogs/2017/february/organic-vs-free-range-eggs-whats-the-difference/

http://www.bhwt.org.uk/free-range-free-range-egg/

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/19/-sp-inside-the-battery-hen-shed

http://stepneycityfarm.org/are-our-hens-happy/

https://www.riverford.co.uk/blog/2016/08/18/ethical-eggs-organic-vs-free-range/

Soomaiya Saturday- Did Someone Say Chocolate Chip Cupcakes?

Somehow I have managed to put a bunch of ingredients together to create something both edible and delicious. I genuinely didn’t know that was possible.

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Every year a Facebook memory pops up where my brother reviewed something I made. He gave me a 1/10 for it being edible and 0/10 for taste!

For some reason I recently became interested in venturing into the kitchen and concocting something to eat. I think it’s because I am obsessed with this vlogger, Gloria Shuri Henry. Some of her vlogs are her making food and she makes it look so easy. She bakes sometimes and it always looks fun! Plus the end product is ‘superrrr caaa-uuuute’- Gloria quote.

I decided to make biscuits after seeing her make some but I didn’t think they were delicious or superrrr caaa-uuutttee. But I could tell that if they were cupcakes they would be soon SUPERRRRR CAAA-UUUUTTEEE!!!! 

I found the perfect recipe on the vegansociety website. I used the sponge cake recipe because I just couldn’t find anything that was called a cupcake recipe. 

It’s perfect because it goes like this:

  1. Get ingredients
  2. Mix them all up
  3. Put it in the oven

It’s so simple.

Okay I’ll put the actual recipe here:

Ingredients

  • 100g vegan margarine
  • 150g golden caster sugar
  • 200g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 200ml plant milk
  • Few drops vanilla essence (optional if making normal sponge)
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Method

• Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix using an electric hand blender or by hand (by hand will take longer)

• Put the mixture into a greased baking tin or a heatproof bowl if you want a dome cake

• Bake at 180°C for approximately 30 minutes

• It’s ready when it’s golden on top, firm and springy to the touch and a skewer comes out clean

See, I wasn’t joking about the easy method. I added dark chocolate chips to mine to make them EXTRA SUPERRR CAA-UTTTEEEE. Okay, I’ll stop that now…

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Here they are!

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Fair Favourites

I found this weeks favourites on Instagram. Lost Shapes use shirts and sweaters from recycled and organic manufacturers, the ink they use are vegan and don’t contain toxic or harmful chemicals and they try to avoid waste all stages of their process. They “hope to see a day when these standards will be everyone’s standards, and we join in campaigns for better treatment of garment workers and cotton producers.”

Here are my favourites! They do these for men and women.

Unicorns organic and recycled unisex sweatshirt

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Kites recycled and organic unisex sweatshirt

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Rain Likely organic sweatshirt for men

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