On the 29th of November, the Temple of Peace hosted its first Ethical Christmas Market as an alternative to Black Friday -one of the biggest day of shopping in Britain. It was the perfect moment to rethink our shopping habits. There was something of Christmas in the air – visitors were welcomed with festive songs, smells of mulled wine and colourful stalls.
We talked to a woman who bought her baby’s first Christmas ornament :
“I suppose for me, particularly since having Freddie, it’s just trying to make some decisions whether that’s kind of more sustainable decisions. Kind of be more aware of, you know, the little planet that he is inheriting! Just trying to do our bit really. We bought a little dinosaur today which is his first Christmas decoration. So it’s remade from old saries and it’s quite nice to have a little story behind it!”
Indeed, all the stallholders were charities and organisations which promote sustainable development goals. It was the occasion for them to gather, talk about the issues that are close to their heart and share good practices.
For the organisation Health Help International, being Ethical means “buying directly from the people who make the items, because they are trying to make a living from what they are selling. […] The people we are engaged with [located in India and Africa] are usually disabled people or they are mothers of disabled children. They are artists who are trying to look after their families. Or, in India particularly, they lost their main income earner, their husband has had an accident and can’t work anymore so the women have to try to keep things together.”
“We buy directly from them and they use local products to make their items. Then we bring them to the UK and all the money goes directly back to them. This is what we interpret as ethical.”
Bringing hope together
It is very inspiring to see that there are already so many options to help us on our path to a more ethical way of shopping. To sum up, here are a few tips we learned from both customers and stallholders at the Ethical Market : / We decided to sum up for you a few tips we heard during this Ethical market.
- Watch out for unscrupulous retailers – who really benefits from your purchase?
- Make sure what you buy is locally produced or/and ethically sourced
- It’s the small things that make all the difference : closing the tap while you brush your teeth is a good start!
- Try to make more sustainable decisions everyday and be more aware of the world you want to leave to the next generations
The first step is to try. Everybody can be more ethical! Every little helps, and together we will make a difference…
“Look at what you buy, look at how sustainable it is and then don’t waste resources”