Update. May 2011

Skin Deep ... GM News ... House-brands ... Focus on clothing ... Fairwear ... Chainstore ... Richlist ... Events


Skin Deep

What are the ingredients in your personal care and beauty products? Which ones are safe and what should be avoided? The Environmental Working Group (USA) has just updated their Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. Check out their 'Top tips for safer products' (ie. what not to buy). Also see the great animation, The Story of Cosmetics.
Coming soon... our expanded cosmetics, skincare and sunscreen categories.


GM* News

- April 20, 2011 "US law suit against GM giant, Monsanto" organic farmers take pre-emptive action against the multi-national agri-business giant. >> more
- May 2, 2011 "Baby formula manufacturers admit they cannot guarantee their products are GM free" >> more
"Non-GM baby formula ‘unrealistic’ " >> more

* Pic is of Steve Marsh, WA organic farmer who lost his accreditation due to GM contamination >> more >> interview [* GM = Genetic Modification]


Supermarket house-brands

We’ve just added a comparison page for House-brands and Supermarkets.
Generally we don't recommend house-brands as (1) it is extremely difficult to discover who manufactures the product - you don't know 'where your dollar is going', and (2) they channel money to the big supermarket chains. We encourage supporting local manufacturers and shopping beyond the supermarket where possible. >> see our FAQ page for more, and the excellent Four Corners 'Price that we pay' (2008).


What you wear - Focus on Clothing

'Women in El Salvador are paid just 29 cents for each $140 Nike NBA jersey they sew. To pay them a living wage, they would earn 58 cents per shirt...4/10ths of one percent of the retail cost of the shirt. '

We are presently working on a clothing edition of the guide. Volunteers have been doing some great work in gathering ownership and assessment information. A big thankyou to Marisa, Maya, Deborah and Amy. Let us know if you'd like to help.


Keep sweatshops out of your school

Whether you are a student, teacher, parent, principal or part of a school council, there are simple steps you can take to make sure your school uniforms are not made by exploited sweatshop workers. FairWear works to stop the exploitation of sweatshop & homeworkers in garment manufacture, with a focus on Australia. Here school communities & their leaders can take active steps towards procuring school wear that is ethically produced. >> learn more


Pick a brand. Send a letter. Start a Reaction

You can help build demand in the marketplace for SlaveFREE standards in products we use everyday. Chain Store Reaction connects consumers with companies. As consumers we are the last link in the supply chain. Companies need to hear how much consumers care about forced labor in supply chains. One Letter = 1000 Consumer Voices. It only takes 20 seconds. >> take action


I am the 490,000,000 richest person on Earth!

I recently filed my tax return and typed in my income at Global Rich List. I discovered that I am in the top 10% of people in the world according to annual income.

“How to be green? Many people have asked us this important question. It's really very simple and requires no expert knowledge or complex skills. Here's the answer.
Consume less. Share more. Enjoy life.” Derek Wall


Upcoming events (in Melbourne)

Monthly Meal & Movie nights: Thursday 12th May – screening 'Dirt - the Movie!'', Steve & Jo's place, Seddon, Melbourne's west. Dinner 6.30, Movie 8.00pm more, RSVP to Nick. >> find out more about meal & movie nights.

Shopping with a Conscience presentations and supermarket tours:
- Tuesday 17th May 7.30pm - 9.30 pm, Genazzano FCJ College, Kew
- Wednesday 18th May, 1pm - 2pm, Allwood Neighbourhood House, Hurstbridge
- Tuesday 24th May at 7.30pm, Unshackled Music Festival, Blackburn North
- Saturday 14 May, 1pm – 3.30pm, Kilmore

>> Find out more or register online here .

Other: - For Fairtrade fortnight (7-22 May) - Mother's Day High Tea, Abbotsford Convent, Sunday 8th May - Victorian Fair Trade Festival, Victoria Markets, Sunday 22nd May


A big thanks to Rosanne who has been our main voice on Facebook and Twitter, and in editing our print guide. She's now working for Greenpeace.

Get the Guide! - pocket guide, iphone app, hemp bags - www.ethical.org.au/shop
See news and print guide updates at www.ethical.org.au/news and www.ethical.org.au/rss
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To view this newsletter online go to www.ethical.org.au/newsletters/may2011.htm