Wikipedia confirms that if California were its own country, it would be the 8th largest economy in the world. This means that the Bay Area stands as one of the largest economic engines anywhere that is driving the global demand for cheap goods made with cheap “slave” labor. It is hard to hear, that our consumption habits locally are directly connected with perpetuating human trafficking globally, especially labor trafficking.
What changes can we make?
Own Up: Complete the slaveryfootprint.org survey to learn how many people in the world are estimated to be in exploited labor because of the products you currently own and buy. Don’t stop there! Click on the site to reduce your footprint and send letters to retailers with slavery in their supply chains. This site is supported by the U.S. Department of State.
Be Selective: Don’t drastically dispose of your pantry or closet at first. Adjust consumption of products with the highest daily usage in your household that have the strongest correlation with slavery: chocolate, tea, rice, sugar and hygiene products. ProductsofSlavery.org
Stay Current: Be careful not to “villanize” companies; some who have done the most harm and the ones now working for the greatest change. Stay up-to-date with the Free2Work mobile app or Better World Shoppers Guide website.