Spoiler alert: Valentine’s Day buzzkill…but you’ll thank me for it

ID-100227254Image courtesy of farconville at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Lest you think we’re not here to brighten up your day and make your life easier, here are a few links curated especially for Valentine’s Day. As yet another consumer-driven holiday is upon us, take a few minutes to learn about the women and supply chains that enable us to shower our beloveds with flowers, candy and bling…because nothing says “I love you” like labor exploitation, conflict and environmental carnage!

Flowers and chocolate — “Women toiling in greenhouses in the flower region of Bogotá frequently earn less than $1 a day and endure exploitative working conditions,” according to a 2014 piece in The Guardian citing War on Want, an anti-poverty charity.

Lingerie – Quinne Meyers of The Lingerie Addict writes, “…[The] human aspect is especially important in lingerie manufacturing, where a hand-operated machine or someone with a simple needle-and-thread sews embellishments like tiny bows and cut-out lace. These details are popular on even the most budget-friendly garments, which can lead to factory workers earning well under a living wage … garment workers manufactured every single piece of lingerie we own, regardless of cost. These workers even make the bow-embellished five-for-$25 panties easily picked up at the mall. And when we purchase lingerie from large chain stores and international brands, we typically don’t know anything about the conditions of the factories they use. Is cheap lingerie worth the exploitation of human beings?”

Jewelry–minerals and metals – According to Global Witness, “the mineral trade has funded some of the world’s most brutal conflicts for decades…These resources can enter global supply chains, ending up in our mobile phones, laptops, jewelry and other products…”

And here are a few links and ideas to get you started on your ethical and sustainable Valentine’s Day on…

Free2work – be an informed buyer

DIY Valentines gifts

Find local, handmade gifts on Etsy

You’re welcome.

 

– Alia

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