We’re excited to add a new entry to the Fair for All guide: NationWares! Based in Ontario, NationWares offers a wide variety of accessories and jewelry, plus several other products. Their products are colorful and made of natural materials like leather, “veggie ivory,” and recycled paper. They ship to the United States, so check them out today!
Have you ever wondered where the money in your 401(k) or retirement plan is being invested? More and more investors are becoming concerned with this question, leading to a rise in socially responsible investing, or SRI.
SRI generally means investing in companies that benefit society or the environment. However, there is no broad, across-the-board definition of SRI. Different financial service providers use different filters to decide what companies qualify as “socially responsible.” Some common issues that are considered when screening companies are their impact on the environment, labor practices, and any involvement in weapons production.
According to US SIF, an organization that promotes and researches SRI, assets involved in SRI investments increased 13% from 2007 to 2009, even while the economy was struggling. Despite economic uncertainty, people are becoming more committed to investing their money in companies that meet certain standards or uphold certain values.
There is a clear parallel between SRI in the financial sector and ethical consumerism in the retail sector. Just as consumers are beginning to question the ethics of their purchases, individuals are questioning the ethics of their investments as well. When people begin to direct their money to companies that create positive change in the world, and away from those companies that hinder it, we will all reap the benefits.
Do you participate in socially responsible investing? Learn more about SRI and find out how you can get started at US SIF’s resource page for individual investors.
June 12 was the World Day Against Child Labor, an initiative by the International Labor Organization to draw attention to the global problem of exploitative child labor. The ILO estimates that 215 million children worldwide are involved in child labor. Over half of those children are working in the “worst forms” of child labor, which include prostitution and pornography, drug trafficking, dangerous/harmful work, and work done under the conditions of slavery or debt bondage.
According to the ILO, the international community has adopted a road map that outlines steps for ending the worst forms of child labor by the year 2016. The number of children laboring worldwide has declined, but the rate of decline has slowed in recent years in conjunction with lagging economic conditions. Check out the video below from the ILO about the current state of child labor and progress being made to end it. (The ILO has a series of videos about child labor available on their YouTube channel, ILOTV.)
Fair Trade USA, the certifying body which since 1998 has sported the black-and-white-basket-carrier logo, has updated its look. Along with the new look comes a clarification of their “Fair Trade Certified” vs. “Fair Trade Certified Ingredients” policy. When introduced, the policy had come under fire from other fair trade groups, but it is now more robust and requires products bearing the label to have a higher percentage of Fair Trade ingredients. Read more about the changes and see the new logo at New Hope 360.
The Fair for All Shopping Guide is now officially launched! We hope you will find this resource useful as you shop for gifts and everyday needs.
The guide is a work in progress. As we continue to research, we will share our findings with you, continuously recommending new online retailers who meet our ethical standards.
The industry of Fair Trade or ethically-made products is evolving, growing, and spreading daily. Also, human trafficking—often a factor in poor labor conditions—is gaining notoriety as a major social issue. Here we will share with you stories and updates related to Fair Trade, social justice, and anti-trafficking groups and movements.