As readers of this blog may or may not be aware, I try to shop ethically. I am by no means perfect, but I try to buy products that I believe to have been produced well.
In particular, in the last couple of months I’ve started trying to work out which of the items readily available to me on the high street are made in the UK. Fairly traded goods are usually obvious (in that they are clearly labelled and very much promote themselves as so), but UK-made goods aren’t always. Were you to go shopping with me, you would notice that one of the first things I do when I see something I like is to try to find its label, and work out where it’s come from.
There doesn’t seem to be much rhyme or reason in it, so far as I can see. I’ve found stickers and badges and plastic fridge magnets made in the UK, next to ceramics made in China – you’d think it would be the other way round. I don’t think I’ve found any clothing made in the UK, except a couple of scarves in TK Maxx that were made in Scotland. I’ve found lots of soap, and jam, and candles. And pottery – in particular noticing (though I should have known all along) that Denby is made in England was a lovely realisation.
This Christmas, I’m trying to give presents that I believe have been produced ethically. So I’ve started shopping early – and indeed I have bought several items in the way of soap, jam and candles (these being produced in the UK, relatively non-perishable so fine to buy a few months ahead, and compact enough to store). I’ve been shopping in T K Maxx (who have all sorts of things from all sorts of places), department stores like Debenhams (similarly), and intend to check out a National Trust shop soon. Anybody have any tips on where else to look?
If you’ve had adventures in ethical shopping, I’d love to hear about them!