Sunday, April 28, 2013

People Power

Two events have occurred recently that have got me thinking about people power.

A few weeks ago, local food company, Spring Gully Foods, announced that it had had to hire an administrator. I knew nothing of the company because I thought all it made were pickled onions and gherkins, neither of which I like. I certainly didn't know it was a local - and I mean local to my state - or that it was a family run business.

After hearing the news I went to their website to see if it made any products I might like; I really wanted to help. Me and everyone else in South Australia, it seems. A couple of days later I "liked" Spring Gully on Facebook so I could follow its story. After visiting its website I knew I would like to try some of its products. Me and everyone else in South Australia, it seems. I went to a bigger, independent supermarket and found that many of the Spring Gully products were sold out. I managed to get hold of a jar of sweet chilli chutney and one of jam. The chutney is really good but I haven't opened the jam yet.

Over the course of the next few days, many of my local Facebook friends were posting updates about Spring Gully foods; which supermarkets had which products and which were sold out. Spring Gully is still in trouble; there was a meeting with the creditors last week. It is in less trouble, however, than it was before and its administrator said that he had never seen such a turn-around before. I've got my fingers crossed for the company and I think the people of this state have its back.

How's that for people power???

So, what about this for a thought? What if the same passion were shown by the public by boycotting the clothing companies that use the kinds of sweatshops like the one in Bangladesh that collapsed? I can tell you right now that the cute $6 t-shirts on sale at Big W at the moment are made in Bangladesh. Maybe even at the same factory. Do you want one of those on your back? Do you want one of those on your conscience?

I use my Ethical Consumer Guide every time I go to the supermarket. Sadly, however, it only gives grocery items. You can bet your bottom dollar that if such a guide exists for other products - particularly clothing - I will find it and use it. I don't want to be complicit in future deaths and my silence and my buying of any of those products is complicity.

It was never my intention to use this blog for anything other than to tell my family's story and share our experiences. I never wanted to try to get anyone else to do what we do. Now, however, I ask each and every one of you to think about the clothes on your back and where they come from. You don't know? That's the problem and that's why companies get away with human rights violations. None of us know and we need to find out. Some of the companies using the Bangladeshi factory have been named and shamed so, please boycott their products.

Fellow blogger, Katy Wolk-Stanley made a similar heartfelt plea, along with other information. I would urge you to read that post to learn more about the situation and what you can do.


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