Happy Tracks in the Snow

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Fair Trade clothing November 30, 2007

Filed under: environment,parenting articles,Tatty Bumpkin — paulabrown @ 10:16 am

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I have recently been doing an audit on my social, ethical and environmental footprint and while I feel virtuous in many areas, there are one or two things which I am almost embarrassed to admit. Let’s start with the good things:

  • we produce very little waste, our rubbish bin is half full when it is emptied weekly, we compost anything organic (including compostable disposables which we don’t use on the soil but do have a special bin to degrade at the end of the garden), we buy in bulk and get a veg box so use very little packaging and reuse and recycle most things
  • we eat organic food, avoid food from more than 100 miles away if at all possible (the exception being tea, wine and fair trade bananas) and buy and use fair trade products where possible, including a large proportion of organic clothing from Bishopston Trading Company and for kids, Tatty Bumpkin of course!
  • socially we are involved in a lot of community groups from the PSA to Woodcraft Folk, local storytelling groups, fundraising groups etc and are passionate especially about all children getting the best start
  • we ensure our money is saved in ethical bank accounts
  • there are other things which elude me now…!

So vices:

  • having not had a car for years I have grown used to using it almost daily for my work (going to Tatty Bumpkin classes, dropping Barefoot Books off). I am exploring a kid’s bike trailer which I can use for my gear and cycle to classes in
  • our house is Victorian and not naturally well insulated etc and we need to do more work on this
  • lastly, and most worryingly, I do shop at Tescos twice a month and although I don’t spend much, I have bought the odd item of clothing in there (see my blog entry on my shock at school uniform prices there). I recently came across this article which upset me and has led to a renewed vow to avoid doing this any more if at all possible. Fair trade and supermarkets  With a long street full of good-quality charity shops, Bishopston Trading Company and a gorgeous UK-hand-made boutique I’m hoping to change my strategy. Also see article on animal welfare and ‘natural’ fibres check out benefits of bamboo for why bamboo fibre clothing is better for you and the environment- Bam also sell adult bamboo clothing while  sells children’s clothes in organic cotton and bamboo fibre mix
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