07 Sep Your Purchase is a Vote for an Ethical Future.
Every morning I go to a cafe that’s conveniently located across the park from my house. There’s a good vibe, the service is personable and the coffee is ok. But recently a new cafe opened up nearby and the coffee is amazing. If I only have one coffee a day, I need to make a choice between the two. My coffee purchase is a vote for the kind of coffee I value.
Now if I were to discover that the cafe serving amazing coffee was underpaying or not paying its staff, or indeed any number of legally, morally or ethically objectionable actions, my coffee purchase would be an implicit confirmation of the way the owner did business. I’d be putting my desire for good coffee over the rights of those workers serving it to me.
These choices happen millions of times every day across industries and organisations. Your purchase is a vote cast for the type of business you favour over the those you don’t. It’s an economic democracy where your purchase is your say on the kind of world you accept or don’t accept.
Recently in a Sydney cafe, a barista was turned down a job because the owner thought that people would not want their coffee “made by a black man”. And in an awesome display of voting with their feet, the relatively full cafe overhearing this exchange got up and walked out. The business closed within the week.
We have similar choices when we buy our clothes. Buying brands that fail to uphold labour standards through cheap labour and poor conditions is an implicit confirmation that your fashion is more important that the rights and safety of the workers making it.
Thankfully, organisations like the Fair Wear Foundation provide accreditation to manufacturers that maintain ethical standards, making it easier for the consumers to ensure their clothes come through reputable channels. The Fair Wear Foundation provides accreditation based on 8 minimum labour standards, which include providing living wages, allowing freedom of association, being free from discrimination, where there’s no child labour and workers are provided with safe and healthy conditions.
By buying WE ARE HARPER, you are buying ethically made product and voting for a textile industry that upholds a minimum standard and respects the rights of textile workers. Your purchase confirms the importance of fair and safe working environments and, furthermore, ensures we can continue to provide funds to social causes here in Australia.
Cast your vote for a better world. WE ARE HARPER