Update. October 2013

Great gift ideas


The 2014 People & Planet Calendars, Diaries and Gift Cards are now available from our online store. This is a great way you can support us and at the same time find beautiful gifts for family and friends. Discounted combo packs are available for a limited time.


Featuring extraordinary images of people and places around the world, selected from over 7,000 entries across more than 80 countries. Each beautiful image is accompanied by its own, unique short story about one of the planet’s social or environmental challenges.


Clothing news

In the wake of mounting pressure from church groups, unions and consumers, Woolworths has finally signed up to the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety (17/10/13) SMH .

> Help encourage Pacific Brands and Just Group by sending them a Facebook message asking them to “GET ON BOARD AND SIGN THE ACCORD”. facebook.com/BONDS, facebook.com/jayjays

This month Gruen Planet (# 7 23/10) talked about sweatshops & the 'cost of cheap' (24.25m in) and highlighted that the minimum wage in Bangladesh is $38 a month. We've a long way to go given that this is seen as acceptable. Australia actually tops the minimum wage compared to other countries as seen in the Economist’s fantastic Big Mac index. Worth a look.


> Good news - our Shop Ethical! app will include clothing data very soon - open the app while connected to the internet in a few days to download the free data update.

Who owns who? - the powerful few

The concentration of companies who own our food and drink brands continue. Our interactive map shows the 10 top brand owners in Australia. The majority of brand owners are now large multinational companies.

> Follow the links to company profiles

> See how global brands compare on various issues at Oxfam's Behind the Brands.

GM Food prize - outrageous!

The 2013 World Food Prize has gone to three chemical company executives, one being Monsanto's executive vice president, responsible for development of genetically modified organisms. 81 global luminaries say the move betrays the mandate of the World Food Prize. In 2008 Monsanto made a $5 million pledge to the World Food Prize Foundation. (26/6/13) Huffington Post

GM seeds undermine sustainability in many ways, including continuing farmers' dependency on purchased seed and chemical inputs, wasteful water use, and the rise of herbicide-resistant "super weeds". > Sign the petition here. > See the Global Mail's Food Fights - 'Explore where GM meets your mouth' for up-to-date infomation and impressive infographics.

> Learn about seed freedom and start your own seed bank.

Killing us softly

The Environmental Working Group in the US have released their 'Dirty Dozen' report looking at endocrine disrupting chemicals. These are frequently found in food, water and consumer products and have been linked to a wide array of health problems, including cancer, birth defects, lowered sperm count, lowered IQ, obesity and thyroid disease. See the report for tips on how to avoid these nasties. Also see Choice's report (AUS) from May.

Quick bites ...  
  • The Abbott Government is seeking to make conservation groups liable for prosecution under consumer law if they are seeking boycotts of products linked to alleged poor environmental practices (23/9/13) The Australian. Sign the petition against this.
  • Rebel Sport and Harvey Norman have pulled all Summit products from their shelves after accusations of secretly using children in India to stitch rugby league balls.(2/10/13) The Age. See full report 'Eight ways to deny you're using child labour' .
  • Retail giant Cotton On acquired local fast fashion chain Supré. (3/10/13) RagTrader
  • Australia's involvement in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement could limit our government's ability to make decisions on food labelling and public health, including palm oil. Sign the petition requesting government clarity on their intentions and plans.
  • Bega Cheese, Saputo and Murray Goulburn are all bidding for Warrnambool Cheese and Butter. (30/10/13) ABC News
  • Congratulations to Outware, developers of our Shop Ethical! app, for winning Best Design Studio at the Australian Mobile Awards. The Shop Ethical! app was a finalist in the Not-For-Profit category, and was featured in this Age article.
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