If you're like me, and deeply care about just, ethical practices of production, you might, like me, wish to boycott purchasing all together because of what we know about the industry of clothing, food, home goods, etc. But let's face it: we still need to dress ourselves and eat breakfast before we leave the house.
The good news, is that we can actually do good while purchasing essential - and nonessential - products. Here is a list of our vetted, and many personally tried-and-true, companies that we love. These companies do everything from taking plastic bottles to make your new favorite fleece or plush blanket, to empowering women through work and education. We hope this list helps to get you started, or meaningfully adds to your existing list.
As a side note: thrift and second-hand shopping is a GREAT way to go, and I actually always suggest this before purchasing brand new items. There is already an overabundance of clothing items out there that, if not picked up, will spend their second life in a landfill, often times in countries in the Global South.
Did you know that the world now consumes about 80 billion new pieces of clothing every year, and the average American now generates 82 pounds of textile waste each year? That's about 11 million tons of textile waste from the U.S. alone. The lifespan of new clothing - from production, to transportation, laundry, and the end of life in a landfill - produces a significant amount of hazardous chemicals and greenhouse gases. For more information on this, check out this article by Greenpeace.
Friends, Now is the time to Shine a Light on Corruption!
For nearly two years, Micah Challenge worked to ensure that some really good rules to fight corruption would become law. The vehicle for this was a set of rules attached to Section 1504 of the Dodd Frank Act. The rules require companies in extractive industries (oil, gas, minerals, mining) to disclose payments made to foreign governments.
The rules would create the transparency needed to expose corruption in some of the most resources rich yet poorest nations in the world. Now is the time to shine a light on corruption related to natural resource extraction, and allow the immense revenue from natural resources to be spent fighting extreme poverty, rather than be pocketed!
As I reflect on the successes, failures, celebrations, and laments from the past year I keep coming back to three things I believe to be true:
- There will always be people in power who do not see or choose not to see the needs of the most vulnerable in our world, who choose the path of oppression knowingly or unknowingly, and who perpetuate injustice in our world.
- God's people will always be those who stand against injustice; who pray with their feet, hands, and hearts "on earth as it is in heaven"...
- Our hope is not in our leaders, our ability to impact the world or in anything other than Jesus. We rest in his power, his peace, and his love to transform this world.
I’m not known for my ability to party. Let’s be honest I am generally unenthusiastic, sort of like Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh--I’m not a pessimist, but I am a realist and the world is a messed up place. I tend to carry the burdens of injustice with me like a twenty pound chain--hard to ignore the weight even at the happiest of times.