Update. January / February 2012

Sustainable Living Festival ... News ... Mean Jeans ... Soy Milk ...Local Harvest update ... Shop Ethical! App

Sustainable Living Festival ...

The Sustainable Living Festival will be running in Melbourne for 2 weeks from the 11th to 26th February, with the big weekend at Federation Square from the 17-19th.

We will be running two workshops as part of the local events program - ‘Ethical Shopping Charades’ (our Shopping with a Conscience supermarket tour reinvented!) and our ‘Facilitator training session’ for those who want to run their own events. Come along for an introduction to ethical purchasing, or as a refresher if you’ve been before. more

We're also excited to be presenting some 'Local Harvest' related events on the Sunday 19th with our major partner, Sustainable Table. These include ‘Dirty Girl Kitchen: Green Grannie edition’ (preserving workshops), ‘Mystery Cook-off’ with chefs cooking ingredients from a CSA style box (i.e. they won't know the ingredients in advance) and‘the 'World’s Largest Organic Feast’ hosted by Costa. Come and be a part of the fun!

Also we're looking for people to help staff our stall over the big weekend. Come, be part of the team!

News ...



Jurlique sold
7th Dec 2011
Jurlique, the high-end natural skin care brand, has been sold by billionaire James Packer and other investors to Japan’s fourth-largest skincare group, Pola Orbis. more

Suppliers 'rogered' by big two supermarkets
25th Nov 2011 Woolworths and Coles exert immense power over their suppliers and it's hurting Australian companies, a Sydney Morning Herald investigation has revealed. video


Woolworths buys 31 hotels in NSW, including pokies
21st Dec 2011 The deal strengthens Woolworths' position as the country's biggest owner-operator of poker machines, lifting the number of machines under its control to 13,480. more

Foreign food labelled 'Made in Australia'
26th Dec 2011
The supermarket chains are using gaps in labelling laws that enable them to avoid disclosing where imports come from. more


Chemical giant BASF flees Europe due to GMO potato flop
21st Jan 2012 The biggest chemical company in the world, BASF, is moving to the US because Europeans don’t want its genetically engineered potatoes. more

National Container Deposit Scheme opposed by Visy in Victoria
30th Jan 2012 "...any proposed CDS in Victoria “will remove valuables from the kerbside stream". more

Focus on 'Mean Jeans'


Ever wondered how your jeans got that just-so worn look?

Well, a world away a worker may have been toiling in a respirator, gloves and protective eyewear. About 50% of clothes sold here are made overseas. To get an insight, China Blue, is a documentary following a young girl working in a Chinese sweatshop making jeans. utube

Most of the rest are made here by outworkers, paid an average rate of less than $4 an hour. See more about The High Price of Jeans. How can you make sure your clothing is made by people being paid fair wages working in decent conditions? Choose Ethical Clothing Australia accredited brands (made by outworkers in Australia).

For more on other issues connected to jeans - including cotton, water and sandblasting (who's heard of that?), see Ethical Consumer. Last September aid agency Oxfam was calling for a total ban on the importation of sand-blasted denim garments. more

What else can you do?

  • Campaign to hold companies accountable for their supply chain conditions at Fairwear.
  • Check out NOBODY - an accredited small business making ethical jeans in Fitzroy, Melbourne !

Soy Milk - 'side-by-side'...


With the high cost of meat and dairy products being one of the focus areas in our new 2012 guide (more) and the issue of bobby calves having some media recently (more), we thought we'd look at Soy Milk, and see how the different brands stack up ‘side-by-side’ on a range of issues. See article.

Local Harvest ...


Find good food alternatives... beyond the supermarket!
A big thanks to all people who contirbuted to Local Harvest through Pozible fund-sourcing. We reached our goal!

We are excited to be launching the BETA version of the Local Harvest website at the Melbourne’s Sustainable Living Festival on the Sunday 19th February. Additional features of the website will be in place for our Local Harvest Challenge week, the first week of April. More on this and on how you can be involved soon.

Help us build up this resource to be as comprehensive as possible. You can contribute to our growing database of 'good food options' by simply sharing resources that you know about close to you. If you'd like to help in this way, please be in touch.

2012 app for iPhone and Android ...


Shop Ethical 2011 was featured as one of the 'Top 25 food apps' in the Age's Epicure.

"Best app I have, I use it daily and it’s changed the way I see the world". Emma, VIC

"Simply, Thank you. I am so grateful that you have done all the hard work, so that lazy/tired/child-distracted mothers like me can confidently tell their whining 8 year olds 'no, we are not buying that, because the people who will get our money hurt other people and/or animals' ”.

Updated, new look, for iPhone and Android - out in mid Feb!


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To view this newsletter online go to www.ethical.org.au/newsletters/jan2012.htm