Depending on how long you have been a part of the social justice/sustainability/fair-trade conversation, you know that it can be wrought with complication and various perspectives on what is actually just.
For example, when TOMS Shoes first came out there was a surge of praise. Blake Mosloskie founded a for-profit company whose “One to One” model allowed for consumer purchases to directly help those in poverty. Blake, the story, The shoes, were everywhere and before you knew it, TOMS were being sold in stores like Nordstroms. Then a bit later, some were down on them. “They’re being made in China,” “Why shoes and why not food?,” “They’re not ethically made or distributed” and some dismissed them as another bad example of good intention. Likely, there are some holes in their model, likely some of the criticism are warranted and needed and likely the good people of TOMS are aware of even more of their faults than their critics realize. It seems they have been trying to function with better practices from the beginning and you should read more at their Corporate Responsibility page. I’m optimistic for them.
Another complaint I hear are the limitations of fair trade products. Have you ever heard this – “It’s technically fair-trade [Read more…]