Enough is Enough: It’s time we knew the True Cost of our clothes

Will 2015 be the year when we say enough is enough? The year we hit the tipping point and start to see change in the global garment industry? The makers of the film The True Cost certainly hopes so. And so do I. The film, screening in cities around the world starting May 29, exposes the problems that exist, and still too often remain hidden, in the world of fast fashion. 2014, the year after Rana Plaza collapsed taking the lives of 1,134 garment workers, was the most profitable year on record for the fashion industry, estimated at roughly $3 trillion USD. And why is this so? Consumers around the world are fed messages that if only they purchase a certain garment to look a certain way, their lives will be better. And why not? It’s so cheap. If your life isn’t remarkably better after you buy said-garment, you can just buy another one. This trend is confirmed by the fact that we are consuming 500% more clothing than we were 2 decades ago. (Two decades ago was only 1995!) And we are throwing out more clothing too—on average 68 pounds of clothes per US consumer per year. This vicious cycle needs to stop, because it is workers and communities at the start of the supply chain that are paying the price for ever-more and ever-cheaper clothing. The price on the hangtag of a Zara blazer or Gap dress is […]

Read More →

Hershey’s Kisses Will Get A Makeover By 2016

4.8.2015 Blog post image

Hershey announced yesterday it will source enough certified and sustainable cocoa in 2016 to surpass the amount of cocoa required for the global production of four of its most popular chocolate brands including: Hershey’s Bars Kisses Kit Kat(United States only) Brookside This announcement comes a little more than a month after Hershey announced it would transition to “simpler ingredients” in its […]

Read More →

10 Grinch Gifts to Avoid This Holiday

candles lit

Jewelry from Discount and Department Stores Problems: Adult and children costume jewelry from stores such as Claire’s, Walmart, Target, Forever 21, Walmart, H&M, and Icing may contain toxic lead and cadmium.  Mining for stones and metals used in more expensive jewelry causes environmental damage, unsafe working conditions, and violent and lethal conflict. Better Options: High-quality jewelry made by fair trade […]

Read More →

“Big Chocolate” brings in $83 billion per year. Where does all this money end up?

Cocoa Infographic v3

The global chocolate industry commands more than $83 billion annually, but how much of this gets back to the farmers? Since most chocolate on US store shelves comes from West Africa, Green America has been persistently pressuring US cocoa companies to step up and take care of the workers—and child laborers—in their supply chains. This infographic traces the conventional cocoa supply […]

Read More →

October Means Chocolate. This Year Choose Responsibly.

Beatrice Asante KUAPA JAN 2009 016

Last year, Americans collectively spent more than $2 billion on Halloween candy. This year, the National Retail Federation estimates that the average person will spend nearly $80 on Halloween items, including candy, costume, and decorations! What if all this money went to support businesses committed to people and planet, rather than conventional businesses, with little regard for workers’ rights or […]

Read More →

Spotlight on Hershey, 2 Years Later

anti hershey rally

Exactly two years ago, Hershey announced it would source only ethically certified cocoa by 2020. This announcement came after years of pressure on Hershey to prevent child labor on West African cocoa farms from Green America members and our allies Two years later, we’re checking on Hershey’s progress and on how these commitments have impacted cocoa growing communities. But first, […]

Read More →

A Fair Deal for Global Sugar Workers

My colleagues Martha van Gelder and Tracy Fernandez Rysavy have been sharing their experience with kicking the sugar habit on this blog for the past week or so. We’ve all been delving deeply into sugar issues recently, working to prepare “Sickeningly Sweet,” the latest issue of our Green American magazine, all about the American sugar habit, and its effects on our bodies and our health. For my part, I confess to being a little stunned at the amount of sugar Americans consume per capita, partially because I don’t tend to consume that much sugar myself.   I don’t keep any sugar-boosted foods in my house — no soda pop, no sugary breakfast cereals, no sweet treats like boxed cookies or or ice cream, and no processed snacks with hidden sugars.   I don’t even put sugar in my coffee, and if a recipe calls for a bit of sweetness, I’m likely to either leave the sugar out, or replace with a few drops of organic honey, maple syrup, or molasses.

Read More →

Update from the Child Labor Cocoa Coordinating Group

clccg

On March 12, 2013 nearly 100 interested stakeholders met to discuss the progress made in the last year by the programs of the Joint Declaration of the Harkin-Engel Protocol, towards reducing child labor in the cocoa sectors of Cote D’Ivoire and Ghana. The Child Labor Cocoa Coordinating Group (CLCCG) task force came together in September 2010 to support the implementation of the […]

Read More →