Tag Archives: EcoFriendly

Sweatshops: The changes being made

Sweatshops are a concept well known to the world of fast-fashion; clothes that are affordable, and the wages of those who made them, even more so. The reality of bargain prices trace back to countries such as Bangladesh and Cambodia, where manual workers are employed at minimum wage inside a factory or workshop for long hours and under poor conditions.

After the collapse of Rana Plaza in Bangladesh, a building which housed clothing factories among other shops, the transparency of fashion companies’ supply chains are being called into question as change is slowly taking shape around the operation of sweatshops. A pop-up sweatshop by the Clean Clothing Campaign in Amsterdam challenged consumers to sit behind a sewing machine and make as many garments as they possibly could in an hour, encouraging onlookers to question their fashion retailers about their manufacturing conditions.

Photo: Anko Stoffels

Closer to home, the Australian government is making moves toward a Modern Slavery Act, an act that Britain introduced in 2015. Such an act would might force companies to prove that they are not exploiting foreign workers. Companies with an annual turnover of $50 million would be reporting on their suppliers’ use of overseas labour. The result of the act is not to dole out fines, but to keep transparency between companies, consumers and shareholders.

 

Perhaps the example needed in this industry to help curb this problem is Nike. The early 1990s saw the brand exposed and shamed relentlessly for its employment of workers in Indonesia and Vietnam for less than minimum wage. The company was protested and criticized until 1998 when then-CEO Phil Knight announced a raise of the minimum age of its workers and increased monitoring in all factories producing Nike’s goods. In the year following, Nike began creating the Fair Labour Association to enforce codes of conduct including a set 60-hour work week and a minimum age to be employed. The company became the first to publish a complete list of all factories they dealt with in 2005 and continues to take corporate social responsibility in auditing data and upholding their commitments to its workers and consumers.

Photo: Getty

Consumers have a right to know how their goods are being made. Shopping ethically is made easier with Ethical Clothing Accreditation. Ethical Clothing Australia is a program designed to verify that all workers are receiving their legal entitlements. Upon accreditation, retailers appeal to a growing market of consumers and ensure transparency between themselves and consumers.

The change that must occur to better conditions in sweatshops and eradicate slave labour must first come from the consumer. Think about how your money is being spent and whose pocket it’s going into. Brands and retailers must be responsible for their actions. So must we.

 

Written by: Celina Foong

The Best Burgers in Perth are Vegan!

Words by Krithika Ramnarayan

A delicious meal that is also cruelty free is not as difficult as it once was. If you haven’t already done so, definitely make your way down to the suburban side of Fremantle, and order a burger from Roark & Co.

Situated in the outskirts of Fremantle is the quaint restaurant run by a tight knit group of kind hearted people with a passion for an ethical lifestyle.

With the aim of redefining vegan dining, the lovely folks at Roark & Co source their food from local suppliers who share a passion for cruelty free and environmentally sustainable produce.

If you wish to visit this lovely location, the restaurant is open seven days a week and has a 100% plant based menu, enjoy a bohemian style venue whilst meeting people from all walks of life.

We highly recommend Roark & Co to add to your vegan restaurant list, who knew the best burgers in Perth were vegan?

Biodegrade is great, but..

Edible is better

India is a majestic place full of a mysterious paradoxes, bindi bearing brides, pastel painted elephants, home of the samosa and now the most polluted place on the planet.

According to recent NASA satellite data India has now topped Chinas pollution levels for the first time in the 21st century.

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Photo: Manan Vastsyayana

Even though it is culturally common in India to eat with your hands, 120 billion pieces of disposable cutlery are thrown away every year. Worldwide, this becomes a figure at 16 times this magnitude. As plastic is composed of major toxic pollutants it has the potential to cause great harm to the environment in the form of air, water and land pollution.

Fed up with this major plastic waste stream, groundwater researcher, Narayana Peesapaty created an innovative edible cutlery company, Bakeys. The edible spoons are full vegan, preservative free, trans fat free and operate of principles of fair trade. Made of millet, rice and wheat they are free from genetically modified organisms (GMO). Their lack of water, moisture or fat allows them a shelf life of up to 3 years without the need for extra preservatives (whilst still remaining their crispness)With India’s favourite spices (ginger-cinnamon, ginger-garlic, cumin, celery, black pepper, mint-ginger, and carrot-beet) the spoons come in sweet, savoury and plain to suit every meal. They are not only environmentally friendly but ‘tasty, fun and highly nutritious’ says Peesapaty.

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Photo: Kickstarter Campaign

Whilst biodegrade products are seemingly a step towards a zero waste future, there benefits are many times negated.

Corn and sugar crops currently used for biodegradables require extreme heat and very specific conditions to properly degenerate. Whereas Bakeys Edible Cutlery don’t require specific conditions and if not eaten will break down within 3-4 days in any outside environment. In concord due to the large quantity(presence) of millets used, the spoon itself does not degrade within liquids and can withstand a hot bowl soup, your favourite butter chicken curry, ice cream or tea.

Peespaty develops his business in correlation with growing environmental problems. Debunking the “conventionally known fact that environmental safeguarding and social responsibility rarely integrate with sound business process”.

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Photo: Kickstarter Campaign

Peespatys decision to use millets as his primary product is not only due to their incredibly nutritious benefits but millets are known for flourishing in the worlds most arable land. Millets requiring far fewer nutrients and water for cultivation allows environmentally friendly farming on a massive scale. Peespaty cites, ‘of the energy it takes to produce 1 plastic utensil, we can produce 100 sorghum(millet) based spoons’, in comparisons to corn (biodegrade crop) they are able to make 50.

Peesapaty states “for Bakeys Foods, environmental and social amelioration is the business”.

As an attempt to raise funds for mass production Sarah Muir for Bakeys created a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. Pledging a goal of $20 000 to compete with the prevalence of plastic. Plastic is widely used due its longevity and affordability. However Peespaty feels ‘with mass production he will be able to make his spoons just as cheap’. Peespaty believes that the ‘change is inevitable’ but before this change can ‘overtake and overwhelm us, we should be instruments of change’.

Since launching in Hyderbad India 2011, Bakeys have sold over 40,000 spoons yet Bakeys business ambitions reach far beyond the realm of spoons. With their plan to expand into a whole new line of table wear, including edible plates, cups, forks and chopsticks.

A collection completely waste free, nutritious and environmentally friendly!

Que the cutlery evolution!

Written by Bridget McDonnell