Friday, August 29, 2008

Labor Day Evokes Ethics (and much more)

Labor Day is coming up, which means some of us will be blessed with a day off of work, in appreciation of all the hard work that we do. Labor Day makes me think about the whole process of creating, buying and selling products. I envision labor unions, fair trade, ethically produced items, education for consumers, product quality, et cetera. This blog will touch on a number, if not all of these thoughts.

What Labor Day also makes me think of (outside of the product life cycle) is that school has either just begun or it is right around the corner. If you are not feeling quite ready or need a few more things to round out your eco-collection, here are just a few suggestions (along with a bit about why they are good alternatives to their common counterparts) for your back-to-school shopping list:
  • Hemp & Organic Cotton Urban Messenger Bag: This Messenger Bag is both eco-friendly and eco-chic. Smart and attractive, what else could someone ask for from their messenger bag? Organic materials are one important factor that we at Wedge Worldwide use when considering products to offer. The following definition of "organic" was passed by the National Organic Standards Board and shows a bit of why it is such an important factor in our product selection process:

    "Organic agriculture is an ecological production management system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity. It is based on minimal use of off-farm inputs and on management practices that restore, maintain and enhance ecological harmony.

    The principal guidelines for organic production are to use materials and practices that enhance the ecological balance of natural systems and that integrate the parts of the farming system into an ecological whole.

    Organic food handlers, processors and retailers adhere to standards that maintain the integrity of organic agricultural products. The primary goal of organic agriculture is to optimize the health and productivity of interdependent communities of soil life, plants, animals and people."

  • Sweatshop-Free Union-Made Hoodies: As I mentioned, Labor Day brings up thoughts of unions and their advocacy for workers. Since these sweatshirts are both sweatshop-free and union-made you can be sure that your hoodies were produced in an ethical working environment. In fact they were produced by the UNITE shop in Bangor, PA which is represented by the Allentown-Easton District Council Locals 111, 234 and 243. Ethically produced items make me feel all warm and fuzzy, kind of like these great sweatshirts.
  • Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Water Bottles: Stainless Steel (and metal generally speaking) is becoming a common household option for a safe alternative to plastic (Bisphenol A: BPA) water bottles. With the frenzy of media attention about the safety and health concerns of plastic water bottles, people are now choosing metal options. The Environmental Working Group advocates for consumers' safety through education. They are a valuable resource when looking at possible safety concerns of consumer goods. Check out their blog regarding BPA: "Your BPA Questions: Answered." Also, check back with Wedge Worldwide because we are looking forward to receiving the Klean Kanteen water bottles in more sizes and colors very soon.

  • Fair Trade Reusable Cotton Lunch Bag: Along with the commotion around plastic water bottles, comes the realities of plastic bags and the rampant use of them. Reusable products are an important alternative to disposable products; reusable bags only being one solution and category of this massive issue. But it all brings us back to the basics of the eco and green movements: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

written by Jessie