Update. August 2013

Child labour - out of the wardrobe

The first Australian Fashion Report, launched by Baptist World Aid and Not For Sale Australia, assesses the ethical practices of 128 clothing brands, providing a detailed grading of the systems companies have in place to protect the workers in their supply chain from exploitation, forced labour and child labour. See Age article (18/8/13) > See full report

“If companies don’t know or don’t care who is producing their clothes, it’s much harder to know whether workers are exploited or even enslaved”. What companies know:

> 39% know where their garments are manufactured (61% don't)

> 24% know where their garments are weaved, knitted and dyed (76% don't)

> 7% know where their cotton is sourced from (93% don't)

For company profiles, related issues and positive alternatives, see Shop Ethical! Clothing.

Chemicals on crops

Australia's chemical regulator has cancelled the use of eleven ester 24D chemical products due to evidence of unacceptable environmental damage and spray drift.The chemical is mostly used to control weeds in broadacre crops (28/8/13). See previous Four Corners report Chemical Time Bomb (22/7/13) to see the human cost.

There are still many chemicals available in Australia that have been banned in Europe. See the 2010 National Toxics Network/WWF list and the 2011 Choice report. (Note: Endosulfan has been banned in Australia since these reports). FOE's 2012 'The Dose makes the Poison?' report outlines foods with high levels of pesticide detections. > Where possible, for these foods, choose organic - especially for apples, wheat, strawberries, and pears.

Kellogg's - stand up for the rainforest!

Snack and cereal giant Kellogg's is being criticised over it’s partnership with Wilmar International, a huge palm oil trader responsible for illegally logging Indonesia’s national forests. Wilmar ranked last among Newsweek's 500 most sustainable companies (receiving a worse “green score” than Exxon Mobil, Monsanto, and China Coal)

> Tell Kellogg's to cut ties with Willmar, unless it agrees to clean up its act!

Give a folk! ... 7th-14th October

Host a dinner party with a difference. Our friends at Sustainable Table are running a campaign to raise awareness about our food and our oceans. Get a group of friends together for a sustainable seafood dinner party. You'll receive a host pack and all the resources to cook a delicious sustainable seafood dinner. > More

> Find how our oceans are endangered with Greenpeace's This Fishy Business infographic.

> Choose sustainable seafood at greenpeace.org.au/tuna and sustainableseafood.org.au

Quick bites ...
  • The REDcycle program collects soft plastics, such as food wrappers, with bins at Coles stores. Replas will recycle them into outdoor furniture and signage (15/2/13)
  • The Queensland Government has significantly weakened its free range egg standards, raising the allowable stocking density from 1,500 birds per hectare to a massive 10,000 per hectare while outdoors (29/7/13) Voiceless. > Please email the Queensland Government to encourage them to support the model code.
  • Iconic Australian tomato sauce brand Rosella has been rescued from oblivion by Sabrands, the family-owned Australian company behind Sunraysia fruit juice. This is the sixth ownership change since Rosella began in 1895, including 40 years with Unilever. (14/8/13) Herald Sun
  • We have a new web resource for church communities - 'Go ethical in your Church'.
  • Stop and reflect. Check out these Mirrogram T-shirts. They transform when looked at in the mirror. SHOP becomes VOTE. Worth a look!
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