The guilty employer this time around: GAP.
Now, I'm not big on boycotts and picketing and all that kind of stuff. I think that it's largely a waste of time and gives the wrong kind of publicity. However, the "Fair Trade" movement is something that I can get behind. The idea behind fair trade is that we as North Americans, the richest people in the world, should not be taking advantage of the third world nations by using them to increase our wealth.
Really, it shouldn't be a bad thing that the Gap has a workshop in India. In fact, it could be a great thing for the Gap to do... if they treated their workers humanely and paid them a good wage. If they did that they could actually be making a difference in the third world by helping to stimulate their economy and supporting local families and neighbourhoods.
The fair trade movement is all about making sure that workers all around the world are being paid an honest wage for an honest day's work. The easiest way to do this is to find brands that are "fair trade certified" and to create a demand for these products by buying them and excluding brands that aren't certified. By this method we can, bit by bit, make a difference in the third world economies. Look for this logo on your products.
Please check out this website: Fair Trade Concepts. A christian guy named Stacey Toewes runs this site. I've heard him speak on this topic a number of times.
Remember Psalm 82:3-43
"Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless;
maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed.
Rescue the weak and needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked."
How can we as Christians become "ethically responsible consumers"?
Should big issues like this be dealt with by the church or by governments?
Are there two sides to the story?