Ethical Easter

"Hundreds of thousands of children labour in the West Coast of Africa to produce cocoa, the main ingredient in chocolate. Specifically, over 40% of the global supply originates in the Ivory Coast, where the US Department of State reports that over 109,000 children work under the worst forms of child labour. Of these 10,000 are victims of human trafficking or enslavement. Children working in cocoa production labour long hours and are often required to use dangerous tools. They are frequently exposed to toxic pesticides in the fields that create health issues and are forced to walk long distances in extreme heat. Furthermore, because these children work long hours they are denied access to an education." -- From Free2Work.org It may have been a few years since working with Not For Sale in the seemingly always foggy and slightly chilly Half Moon Bay, but the knowledge I learned while memorizing statistics [...]

2016-03-20T13:50:34+00:00

Why I Don’t Shop At Forever 21

Note: This has been a hard post to both write and publish. While in Dominican Republic over the summer working with Canadian volunteers, eyeing up outfits on Pinterest, or asking friends where they bought the adorable ensemble they happen to be wearing, Forever 21 seems to always be the answer. It’s hard to respond when that is what I hear—I don’t bust out a ‘don’t shop there’ speech that may come across judgmental and negative… I tend to respond with the emotionally non-descriptive ‘cool’. These are my thoughts and I hope you enjoy reading them! As always, I encourage you to make your own decisions when you choose whom to support with your hard-earned dollars! Oh Forever 21. Your combination of trendy, absolutely adorable and cheaply priced clothing means you have dominated the cash flow from the minimum wage, part-time paycheque of most teenagers since you invaded the shopping scene. [...]

2014-03-13T22:24:00+00:00

Human Trafficking Prevention

Image found on Pinterest I’ve heard January be referred to as Human Trafficking Awareness month. As the beginning of research generally starts, I opened up Google and typed in ‘Human Trafficking Awareness Month.’ Upon skimming through the top few headlines one link in particular caught my eye. Posted by the White House, it was a letter that President Obama wrote announcing January 2014 to be National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. Every part of me was filled with excitement. This is exactly what we need. Awareness is one thing, and a good thing, but prevention is where we should be focused after awareness has been reached. Once you are aware, there needs to be another step involved-- something practical and tangible and that, my friends, is Prevention. I know, I know. You might be thinking ‘How can I prevent slavery?’ You may not be actively involved in the sex [...]

2014-01-21T18:05:00+00:00

Challenge: Clothing with a Conscious

Spring Fever. I have it. I don't know if it is highly contagious, if I caught it from someone-- but I have a firm belief I can almost 100% back up with proof that it is brought on by the weather. This fever will only break once temperatures warm up outside. Symptoms can be treated by sitting by windows so you can be all 'cat-like' and bathe in the sun (something I am known for doing anyways), drinking smoothies and eating salad reminiscent of summer-time picnics and gatherings, and by shopping-- preparing yourself for when the fever breaks. As I sit in my wonderful husbands coffee shop, at the long wooden coffee bar that could be a picnic table-esque, drinking my Mango green tea and basking in the sun streaming in warmth from the large window in front of me, I think of a few things: 1- Sunshine is awesome and I'm [...]

2013-05-06T16:51:00+00:00

“Let’s make a documentary…”

How often do you think to yourself "I should make a documentary? For me, it's not too often. For my wonderful husband, it's probably at least once to twice a day. As you can tell from the premise of my blog to the topics I've been discussing lately, being an ethical consumer and using your purchasing power to make a difference in the world has been on my mind a lot. Combine these factors into one, and you have the idea of a documentary with the premise of ethical living at the forefront of our ideas. The idea was simple-- live a slave free life for one month. It's amazing how it's so simple to speak a sentence, or write it, or share it with someone, but it's the meaning behind the sentence that really packs the punch and the weight of the impossible.  Live a slave free life for [...]

2013-04-17T17:38:00+00:00

Challenge: Ethical Easter

"Hundreds of thousands of children labour in the West Coast of Africa to produce cocoa, the main ingredient in chocolate. Specifically, over 40% of the global supply originates in the Ivory Coast, where the US Department of State reports that over 109,000 children work under the worst forms of child labour. Of these 10,000 are victims of human trafficking or enslavement. Children working in cocoa production labour long hours and are often required to use dangerous tools. They are frequently exposed to toxic pesticides in the fields that create health issues and are forced to walk long distances in extreme heat. Furthermore, because these children work long hours they are denied access to an education." -- From Free2Work.org I'd like to propose a challenge. As with all challenges, this will not be the easiest thing you have ever done. It will require thought, effort, will power and commitment. It will require [...]

2013-03-14T00:58:00+00:00

Freedom Sunday and the days that follow.

Freedom Sunday. A day where the faith community as a whole comes together in their place of worship and devotes their time to learn what it means to end slavery. This is incredible. As a Christian I truly believe that we, as the church, should be leading the movement to end slavery in our lifetime. The night before Freedom Sunday my wonderful husband and I were hanging out with some friends and we chatted most of the evening about faith. We chatted various aspects of faith and at one point my husband said something absolutely wonderful. He mentioned that doing good things like feeding the hungry, clothing the poor, helping the widow and orphan, shouldn't be something of special mention for a Christian. When you die people at your funeral shouldn't be like "Aelea was awesome. She helped the poor, the orphans, etc...". That should be commonplace. That is a [...]

2013-02-20T00:14:00+00:00

“Where am I supposed to buy clothes?”

I was recently on vacation with my family in Hawaii. When I say family I mean my husband, mom, dad and two older brothers. The last "family vacation" we took was when I was 16 years old to Disney World. Needless to say, it was an interesting time to see how our personalities, interests and lifestyles meshed and, at times, didn't mesh. I'm sure we can all agree that people are in a state of constant development. Consistently growing, changing, evolving into the product of their beliefs and surroundings. Every person in my family is very different. It was quite interesting for us be together for just over a week, and I am consistently grateful for my husband being there as someone I could escape the generic "family craziness" with. While on this trip, you best believe my family is on the prowl for deals. You're on vacation-- you take [...]

2013-02-07T20:02:00+00:00