Do Our Values Match?

Have you ever done an anticipation guide?  It’s a popular classroom activity but not one I remember doing back in the 90’s.

For this one, try to order the following items from most important to least important (1-7).

_____ Ending Slavery (there are about 46 million slaves today…mostly women and children)
_____ Eating Healthy Foods and Exercising
_____ Maintaining a Good Budget
_____ Spreading the Good News about Jesus
_____ Ensuring Proper Medical Care for All
_____ Loving Children, whether your own or those in foster care or orphanages
_____ Removing Harmful Chemicals from our Daily Life

What a list, right?  All of these items are important, and daily we place more value on one of them whether we realize it or not.  But do our actions match our opinions?

I would love to hear in the comments below, which item is number one on your list.  However, I am actually most interested in where “Maintaining a Good Budget” falls.

This may sound like a strange one to focus on, but where we spend our money often shows what we actually value.

For instance, the last shirt I bought for my husband was a $6 dress shirt from the clearance table at Kohl’s.  What a win for our budget!  But that fast fashion purchase means there are adults and children being exploited in labor fields and surrounded by toxic chemicals.  The minimal income puts their families at risk for poor nutrition, medical care, and even trafficking.  (If you would like to learn more, I highly suggest watching the trailer and/or the whole documentary of “True Cost.”)

On the other side, the last two purchases I bought for myself were a skirt from Elegantees and a pair of sandals from Sseko. Both of these companies are committed to giving workers fair wages.

On top of that, Elegantees employs worker who are trafficking victims from Nepal.  They have found dignity and a Grace-filled God from their work.  Sseko, on the other hand, is eliminating poverty before it begins by helping girls go to University.  With an income and an education, they are changing the face of Uganda.

And I got ALL of these purchases on sale.  Now, admittedly, my Kohl’s sale was more generous and budget friendly.  But what was the real cost?

Did you know that of the 50 million garment workers world-wide, only 5% make a living wage?

Ethical Fashion can change that.
It can end slavery. It can allow workers to have enough to eat and proper medical care.   It can protect children and provide education.  It can show that people who love Jesus, also love His children and refuse to turn a blind eye to their needs.

I hope to remember this list of all the things I think are important and act accordingly.

Small actions can change the world. 

Small purchases add up.

And while I am sure I will make more fast fashion purchases in the future, baby steps to change my spending habits and showcase my values are worth taking.  Will you join me?

25 Poppasome Tokens of Appreciation

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Danielle says:

    Thank you for sharing! So many good points on where our money goes and how small things can contribute to change.

    Like

  2. Jud says:

    Hey Amy, is there a good resource out there that rates responsible clothing manufacturers? I tend to buy clothes from L.L. Bean and Duluth Trading Company. I’m interested to see where they fall concerning these aspects of business.

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    1. Amy Hawk says:

      There is an app called Good On You that is attempting to rate different companies. It has a big focus on environmental issues, whereas I tend to worry more about how the workers are treated. And if the information is not transparent, they often give a lower rating. I see the good and bad in that practice. But nevertheless, it is a great starting place for checking a wide variety of companies out.

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  3. denisecason says:

    Thank you for these thought provoking words. I love how you share yourself so honestly. Another option for fair trade purchases is Timbali Crafts. A group of extraordinary women in Swaziland, Africa create and sell these crafts as a source of income for their families. When a lady begins, she is “sponsored” a hand cranked Singer sewing machine. When her items are sold a portion of this money goes to pay on the machine, a portion is put in savings and the rest paid to the woman as her monthly stipend. When the machine is paid in full it belongs to her. All of thee ladies volunteer at local care points and collectively feed over 2000 children every day. I’ve watched one woman as she walked three miles from her home to the care point with her sewing machine on her head, prepare a meal for 100+ children then sew the rest of the day in order to feed her family. They are adding new products including dog collars!! Visit the website: timbalicrafts.org.

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    1. Amy Hawk says:

      There are so many extraordinary people in our world. Thank you for sharing about the ladies in Swaziland! And I love these micro loan programs.

      Like

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