The Rise of the Conscientious Consumer

 

No matter how much we try to reduce consumption, we are still going to buy goods, from coffee to clothes,  that are produced abroad. Because many developing countries cannot or will not stop businesses from using practices like forced or child labor, consumers in the United States need to demand that goods are produced with respect for human rights. Even better, systems like Fair Trade are making it easier by certifying that products are produced sustainably and that workers are paid well enough to ensure they can invest in a better future.

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Building a Just World for Workers

ILRF is an advocacy organization dedicated to achieving just and humane treatment for workers worldwide. They believe that all workers have the right to a safe working environment where they are treated with dignity and respect, and where they can organize freely to defend and promote their rights and interests. Read more.
International Labor Rights Forum

 

Read the International Labor Rights Forum essay: "The Rise of the Conscientious Consumer"
Read the ILRF essay

Endnotes & References

 

Clothing: The Ethics of Production and Consumption

 

What Can I Do?

Visit www.goodguide.com for more information. Look for products with a logo certifying their ethical production, like Fair Trade (over 6,000 products), “Fair Labor Apparel”,  Rainforest Alliance Certified, and others.

Why? Credible certification systems are helping to ensure that workers receive the value that they deserve.

 

What If?

Q.  What if American consumers were given more choices to select not just the cheapest goods, but also those that support fairness and justice for the workers that produced them?

A.  Research from Harvard University suggests that consumers would accept higher prices (up to 20%) without any decrease in sales if they trusted that the products were ethically produced.