Friday, April 29, 2011

Nomi's Fashion Corner: A Shopper's Guide

While discussing the practicalities of being a socially sustainable consumer our currently intern, Kala Burst, recommended that I look into the book Better World Shopper. While doing some further research on-line, I was pleasantly surprised by its companion website’s clean design, relatively easy layout, and most importantly, it’s solid, research based content. This book and website gives letter grades to companies and their products based on a process of data collection and analysis.

While looking through some of the product categories and companion charts listing their letter grades and rankings, I was particularly pleased to see a category for “slave free”. As a teaser for anyone interested, I’m highlighting author Ellis Jones’ sound-bite explanation for his intentions behind his commitment to over 20 years of research on this topic.

“Money is power. And wherever large amounts of money collect, so also new centers of power form. The latest historical manifestation of this is the modern corporation. Make no mistake, these new power centers are not democracies. We don't vote for the CEO's or their policies (unless we are: rich enough to be significant shareholders, informed enough to know what's going on, and compassionate enough to care about more than just personal profit), yet our destinies are increasingly in their hands.

As these power centers shift, we must shift our own voices if we wish to be heard. As citizens, on average, we might vote once every 4 years, if at all. As consumers, we vote every single day with the purest form of power...money. The average American family spends around $18,000 each year on goods and services. Think of it as casting 18,000 votes every year for the kind of world you want to live in. Use this site to take back your power.”

Check it out and tell us what you think!

- Alissa Moore

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