We're singing a wonky version of this song at the late Christmas Eve service at my church. I hope you have a quiet, restful, meaningful evening even if you don't celebrate Christmas. If you do celebrate Christmas, however, I highly recommend attending an Episcopal service. I love the thoughtfulness of liturgical services, particularly on Christmas and Easter.
According to Quartz' recent article, about 60% of the world's new Christmas decorations come from the city of Yiwu in China. Reporters state that conditions are bad by western standards and that many workers are likely inhaling toxic chemicals on a daily basis. On the spectrum of possible working conditions, however, it's not so bad.
What surprised me most about the video is that production looks more like a craft project than a factory operation. I think a lot of us assume that our goods are churned through a high tech, fully automated machine, but, in industries that rely on the cheapest manufacturing cost possible, it's not a priority to update equipment. It's much easier to employ people to do it all by hand. This is true even in U.S. factories. This is why fair labor is expensive.
I don't anticipate receiving most of the above items, but they certainly would make beautiful Christmas gifts. I'm encouraged to see a huge increase in both the number of fair trade companies and the number of interested consumers. The fair trade blogging community is growing and I'm excited to be part of a passionate, uplifting group of like-minded women.
I have to admit, however, that a part of me has felt as though my mission is less meaningful now that there are more voices advocating for fair trade, but I realize that this is what I hoped for all along! I had no idea when I started this blog two years ago that I had inadvertently joined a movement, not just a fledgling cause. Striving to live ethically and sustainably takes constant consideration, but it is getting easier to find fair trade options.
I prefer to buy all fair trade for Christmas presents because it's the perfect opportunity to support companies I believe in and start conversations about fair trade with my friends and family.