How Many Slaves Work for You?

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Do you own a television? Wear leather shoes? Use makeup?

Like it or not, you’re probably contributing to the global slave trade.

This isn’t a big surprise; plenty of the goods we purchase in the US are produced in subpar conditions abroad. But we usually choose to ignore our conscience in favor of consumer needs and wants. And besides, what can we really do about it?

Well, a few things, actually.

You can start by taking a short quiz from the organization Slavery Footprint. Click here to answer a few questions about your lifestyle and get a rough idea of how many people are subjected to modern-day slavery in order to fill your shopping cart. It’s startling.

Once you complete the quiz, the website offers some ways to take action and help combat the problem, including an app that helps you find fair-trade vendors (Disclosure: I haven’t tried it).

It’s not a solution, but it’s a reminder that consumer power can dictate positive social change, and that we, as consumers, aren’t helpless. Or blameless.


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