A little bit of background for your reading pleasure... We are Drew (28), Carolyn (27), and Niles (1.3). We live in a small apartment in Cincinnati and we love this freaking life. We laugh a lot, spend 20 minutes every morning looking at our phones in bed, and we love exploring new places... whether across the world or in our neighborhood.
We have been exposed recently to the lack of fair labor practices around the world. We wanted to do something about it personally. Not just through Parative, we wanted our family to create habits and patterns around supporting ethical businesses. So we unanimously (Niles just happened to randomly nod yes so that was his vote) decided we needed to change the way we personally consume. We needed to buy things from brands that guarantee their supply chain has fair labor practices from start to finish.
If you have known me since I was like 5, you know dressing myself (and helping other people) is one of my favorite things. I enjoy personal style and its important to me. Even typing this 6 months after our commitment I want to throw up because of the pull I feel in both directions. BUT I REALIZE THE IMPORTANCE AND VALUE IN WHERE I SPEND MY MONEY. When we buy something we are essentially saying to the supply chain, and business, do this more, this is working.
The ILO estimates that 170 million are engaged in child labour, with many making textiles and garments to satisfy the demand of consumers in Europe, the US, and beyond
So, I got over myself and we set up parameters around everything we buy except food (we realize the farming industry is one with prevalent unfair labor practices but we had to start somewhere) and we got to researching. We use Freestate and Project Just for a lot of our research.
Our guidelines are pretty vague (but we normally air on the side of if you can't prove its made ethically its not worth having):
1. if there is recent information on a brand that proves they don't value fair labor, don't buy it
2. if there is no information, contact the brand and ask about their manufacturing guidelines
3. if you can, buy it used (this works for us especially when it comes to non-clothes, i.e. a soccer ball)
WE ARE CHALLENGING OURSELVES TO CREATE CHANGE MORE THAN JUST THROUGH OUR BUSINESS BUT THE WAY WE CONSUME
We are excited to be on this journey and for the value this brings to our family and families all over the world. Would love for you to join us along the ride. It isn't easy, but we think it'll be worth it.
Keep checking back in, we'll be updating our blog more frequently here in the future; sharing more on ethical shopping, highlighting dreams others are doing, and catching you up on the latest Parative happenings.