Amidst all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, we can easily forget the people and labor behind the gifts we give. But thankfully, there are multiple wonderful ways to help prevent and address exploitation this holiday season.
Many of the products we consume are produced in unethical ways, involving people forced to work long hours in unsafe and unsanitary conditions for pennies on the dollar. These systems of exploitation are often connected to human trafficking and other human rights violations. While we as consumers are not responsible for the multiple factors that contribute to these issues, there are ways we can contribute to positive change in the manufacturing industry. A simple way to do this is to shop consciously.
Fair trade and for good companies are great places to start. These companies provide safe environments for their workers and give them a fair wage; some even provide housing, education and other needed resources. These brands can be a little hard to find, but many are available online and conveniently ship across the country. Directories like this are a great place to start connecting with reputable online brands. There are also in-person stores. Using this site, you can find shops across the country that sell fair trade and for good products. When in doubt, you can always look for the fair trade certification on a product or website.
Another option is to be creative in your gift-giving. Use your creative talents to make handmade and upcycled gifts or find unique presents at local charity shops or Facebook marketplace. These small steps can contribute to a conscious gift-giving experience and make the sentiment that much sweeter.
Shopping isn’t the only way to help fight exploitation during the holidays. Dressember is a month-long style challenge that helps spread awareness and raise funds to help prevent, address, and end human trafficking. You can fundraise, donate, or help spread awareness to contribute to the cause. From gift-giving to charity involvement, all of us can contribute to the fight against trafficking and exploitation.