Anti-Trafficking Tuesday: What Does It Really Mean to Buy “Sustainable”?

7 June, 2011

in Human Trafficking & Social Justice

///Hello! If you’re new, Anti-Trafficking Tuesday is a weekly post discussing modern slavery, associated social justice issues, and how these interact with modern handmade culture.///

Seaching “All Items” on Etsy there are:

9 results under human trafficking

0 results under modern slavery

0 results under anti-trafficking

26 results under social justice

143 results under slavery (most of it vintage paper ephemera or Abraham Lincoln items)

212 results under sweatshop (meaning sweatshop-free)


117, 724 results under organic

121, 477 results under eco

211, 010 results under recycled

Three thoughts:

1. I understand that most people who sell organic, recycled, reclaimed and vintage things do so not only to help the earth, but to opt out of a perpetuating a sweatshop-growing culture.

2. Pillaging the earth and people go together.  It’s not an either/or thing.  Factories that don’t care much about their employees typically don’t care much about the earth either.  And vice versa.

3. Those things said, I think we’ve produced a culture where consumers are taught to be more worried about the land than the people on it.  When fast-fashion retailers like H&M produce “organic” clothing (which might not even be organic) this dichotomy becomes clear.

Food for thought.

There’s a lot to think through here.  And I’m sorry I missed last week’s Fight Human Trafficking post.  If I don’t plan these ahead of time, they are the hardest ones to write.  There is a lot of information to break down, and to be honest, it’s such an emotional topic for me, that it can be crazy hard to write about.  Even a bare facts post like this.  But I am passionate to be a part of the change and am working through a plan right now to get you more cohesive posts, on time & weekly.

Thanks for listening.  Grace and peace, my friends.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

BrandyNo Gravatar

I’ve thought about this a lot, too, and I think your third thought nailed it. Thanks for writing this – I’m an avid Etsy fan and this post is super thought provoking. I’m so glad so said hello on Twitter! I can’t wait to read more of your posts. :)


ElizabethNo Gravatar

I’m really glad you stopped by – thank you for visiting. :)


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