Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Ethical Kay - Attempt 2

So I have been a little bit rubbish with the whole the Ethically Challenged thing since I started. I went on the afore mentioned holiday (ha ha volcanic ash – you lose), I came back to a million emails and a ton of work, I went to Blackpool with my sister, came back to more emails and more work. Anyway having read R’s blogs am not only feeling inspired but left behind. So ethical mission here we go.
First of all, bikini update: I bought the bikini in the end. I just couldn’t find anything else and they sent me a nice reply to my email. The reply said all the right stuff – they have an ethical policy, get written assurances from suppliers that the products are produced in ethical conditions, they are working towards making sure all suppliers sign up to the Ethical Trade Initiative’s Base Code, they aim to ensure every supplier or third party is working towards meeting certain standards. All good, but a lot of use of words like ‘working towards’ and ‘aiming’. Now I am not saying for a second there is any reason to think the products weren’t made in perfectly acceptable working conditions, but it just all feels a bit vague. It will be interesting to see how long they are ‘working towards’ or ‘aiming’. Perhaps I will email them in a years time and see if I get a different answer. (R, you will have to remind me of this in a years time!) That said, I loved the bikini and it was honestly the only place that I could find one that fitted! So plus points to them for that.

So the hard thing is now what do I do? Do I email every company I buy everything from and accept this kind of answer? Well not only is that a bit half hearted but it's a bit boring for a blog and not really in the spirit of Ethically Challenged. I think if I am going to do this I need to up the game a bit. Having been chatting to R’s sister about her company, I do think it should be possible for companies to be able to guarantee certain standards. Claudia knows where her products come from and how they were made. Yes it's much smaller and they are all produced locally so it's easier to track. But surely the bigger you get and the further away you move from the production line the more responsibility you should have to make sure you know what is going on. Na├»ve? Probably, but anyway on with the next challenge:
The next purchase I need to make is a load of baby related presents. Am going to broaden my horizons beyond the high street and see if I can get some more concrete answers. (At this point I would just like to say to my lovely god children who are expecting bright coloured plastic things that are designed to kill – please don’t hate me when you end up with organic handmade ball of wool.)

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