A couple of months ago, I stumbled upon an interesting survey and answered questions about electronics, diapers, closets filled with clothes, and even my regular consumption of make-up and body wash.
I was intrigued and sickened when I learned that my small family of four, though we live well below the national average income, is employing approximately 69 slaves for the production of the items we regularly consume. It was here at Slavery Footprint that modern-day slavery became a reality to me.
My husband had mentioned sweatshops to me before and even talked about making his own clothes. Honestly, I asked him to please stop; don’t make me feel bad about that. It seemed far too overwhelming and inconvenient to consider everything we bought, and I feared that it would be outrageously expensive to make more ethical choices.
The intrigue never left, and on October 1 began a blog series, 31 Days Mindful of Slaves. I have been shocked to learn that child-slaves are harvesting cocoa for our excessive chocolate indulgences without ever having a taste, and young adults meticulously assembling iPhones in the Foxconn factories of China have frequently committed suicide in recent years. Tags boasting “Made in the USA” often only assure us that garments were manufactured by underpaid immigrants on our own soil.
Now that I think about it, slavery is far more inconvenient for slaves than consumers. It is worth it to change up some habits in order to love others well.
I am thankful for the goal and encouragement of Slavery Footprint to encourage businesses to audit their suppliers to ensure ethical treatment of employees. I have received replies from several companies I e-mailed through the Slavery Footprint website, and I am looking forward to sending more letters through the Made in A Free World App.
It’s an honor to be on this adventure to implement creative new habits into my own life in order that others do not have to suffer for what I consume, and I am learning to use my voice to advocate for those whom we often forget because we do not see them. I hope that you will join me in continuing to advocate for modern-day slaves through Slavery Footprint and join with me for the second half of October’s 31 Days Mindful of Slaves.