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Fight Slavery by Shopping

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Women in northern Bangladesh stoop down in front of large looms, weaving clothing to sell.

Women in northern Bangladesh weave saris, sarongs, bed sheets and towels for sale. Photo: Andrew Goodwin/World Vision.

A former garment worker is seen behind spools of thread and a sewing machine.

Samnang and his wife used to be garment workers, with little to show for their hard work. With support from their community and World Vision, they were able to start their own business and buy a home! Photo: Sopheak Kong/World Vision.

We are no strangers to terrible news from around the world. But the recent garment factory collapse in Bangladesh—that killed more than 200, injured over 1,000, and has left many more trapped in the rubble—heightens awareness about how Canadians’ purchasing power can affect the lives of people thousands of miles away. Let’s start making better decisions about what we buy, so we can help improve living and working standards for people around the world. Check out our Shop For Change guide below to get started!

Family Activities
Just about everyday we make purchases to take care of ourselves and to support the life we like to lead. Many make very intentional decisions about what they buy and why. Some have taken up the challenge of buying nothing new for a day, a month, a year, or more. Others focus on buying locally made products and produce.

These are all great examples of responsible consumerism. This resource will give you ideas for how you can grow or expand your responsible consumerism with your family. Let’s use our consumer power to contribute to healthier and better lives for ourselves, those around us, as well as to help reduce the number of children working in dirty, dangerous and degrading jobs.

Step 1: THINK critically about this complex issue. Explore what’s fuelling the problem and possible solutions.

Step 2: ACT by purchasing products that are more ethical using the information below and by asking our federal government to do something too!

Step 3: CHANGE your shopping behaviour and the way you view the products you buy.

Work your way through the Shopping Action List and keep us posted on your experiences through 1) email 2) Facebook.

Shopping for Change Action List:
  • Learn, Discuss, Read and Watch: Brainstorm activities you or your children do at home, school, or in the community that you consider to be normal work. How is this different from dirty, dangerous and degrading work?
  • Fairtrade Scavenger Hunt: What does Fairtrade mean and how does it impact modern day slavery? Visit Fairtrade Canada to find out. Then, search your home and local shops for Fairtrade products. Use the Fairtrade Canada website to find stores that carry Fairtrade items. Take photos of your favourite or most unusual products and post them to our Facebook page.
  • ​Fairtrade Ideas Bank: Brainstorm practical ideas for helping your school, workplace, church or community to use more Fairtrade items. Visit Fairtrade Canada for information. Share your idea on our Facebook page.​

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