POWER TO THE PEOPLE
When it comes to ethical shopping Frederique GulcherIngram practises what she preaches.
Her interest in conscious consumerism was sparked when she was introduced to sweatshop-free sneakers by a friend while living on Waiheke Island.
She went on to study social geography at Massey University and wrote an essay on the rise of ethical consumerism.
Last year she set up My Good Emporium, a Facebook page with views and products relating to sustainable fashion choices.
Mrs Gulcher-Ingram highlights the Bangladesh clothing factory that collapsed last April killing more than 1100 people as an example of disastrous business practices.
‘‘Some multi-nationals are so powerful ... they can push countries to create free trade zones like Mexico and China where the usual tariffs and regulations are completely done away with. ‘‘They’re called sweatshops. ‘‘I want to feel and know that what I wear has not played a part in creating sweatshops.
‘‘I personally believe I should get fairly paid for my job and I believe that is the right of every person.’’
Mrs Gulcher-Ingram says shoppers can bring about change by boycotting products and brands using unethical practices and questioning companies about their policies.
‘‘I say to people you can’t make a change overnight but become more aware and slowly but surely if more people get involved things will change.
‘‘We have incredible power, and even just small steps make a difference.’’
Purchasing power: Frederique Gulcher-Ingram says everyone can make a difference by ensuring at least some of their purchases are ethically sound.