Array

Shop responsibly as you decorate your home

We are all familiar with the term ‘buy local’ and I’m sure that most of us support that philosophy when we are purchasing items for our home.

I have been of the mindset that if I am working to buy from locally owned proprietors and business owners that I have done my part to sustain the local economy but last week I was challenged to look at my spending on a deeper level.

I am bargain-driven, I revel in a good deal or sale price and consider it a victory to obtain the products I love either on sale or even on consignment.

There has been a challenge laid down for me (and you) to look beyond the shop front and the cheapest price and to discover where and how your product was made. The demand for inexpensive items has driven human trafficking into mind-blowing numbers and I for one am encouraged to spend my money on products which support fair trade and fair labour practices.

The easiest way to make sure your dollars are being spent on ethically and globally responsible products are to buy Canadian or North American made.

North America, in most cases, has higher standards for Occupational Health/Safety and of course enforced labour laws. When a product is sold at a drastically reduced price someone along the way has paid a price for that. When a manufacturer is forced to cut costs due to consumer demand they usually cut the labour force first as material costs generally cannot fluctuate – this results in workers receiving less than fair wages and substandard working conditions.

An example of this would be the comparison of buying hardwood, I have had clients challenge why the product I sell is $9/sq. ft. when they can purchase a seemingly identical product for $5/sq ft.

Consider this, a hardwood is grown and manufactured in Canada will be subject to reforestation laws, environmental restrictions during production, health and safety regulations, wage minimums and law enforced working conditions.

A hardwood produced in a country that does not have labour or environmental laws can be manufactured at a dear price including illegal child slavery, products which are produced with no safety standards and irresponsibility in harvesting wood.

Visit www.betterworldshopper.org for information on your favorite products and stores.

When looking for products for your home, research not only the company history of where you are buying but what you are buying to ensure you are making an informed choice. Does the manufacturer or business support local charities, are they environmentally responsible and are they creating Canadian jobs with their products?

Are they actively involved in the community where they do business and are they giving their employees a fair opportunity to make a decent living? These questions are vital if sustainability and global consciousness are a part of your shopping goals.

‘House proud’ is a term we all use for a well finished, completely cared for home but I think it can go deeper than that. Be proud of items you have purchased knowing you have contributed to the lives of others as they struggle to make a way for themselves in this world.

Kim Lewis is an interior designer in Red Deer with Carpet Colour Centre. Contact her at 403-343-7711 ext 227 or email her at klewis@carpetcolourcentre.com.

Just Posted

Rebels lose to Medicine Hat Tigers, 4-1

Tigers break Rebels’ three-game winning streak

Red Deer’s newest outdoor ice facility opens to the public next week

The speed skating oval at Setters Place at Great Chief Park will be open Dec. 17th

Exhibition explores the rich history and culture of Métis people

The exhibition is on display from Dec. 15th to March 10th at the Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery

2019 Hockey Alberta Provincial Championship host sites announced

A total of 39 Provincial Championships will be hosted across the province

40-year Big Brother match a gift to Lacombe man

Andy Pawlyk and his Little Brother Chris Selathamby honoured at BBBS Awards Night

VIDEO: Royals reveal the images on their Christmas cards

Prince William and his wife Kate are shown outside in casual clothes, their three young children in tow

Facebook reveals bug gave apps unauthorized access to 6.8 million users’ photos

It’s believed up to 1,500 apps built by 876 developers had access to Facebook Stories, private photos

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

Of the 105 current senators, 54 are now independents who have banded together in Independent Senators’ Group

21 detained before Paris protests as police deploy in force

There was a strong police presence outside the central Saint Lazare train station, where police in riot gear checked bags

New home for Calgary Flames estimated to cost up to $600 million

The city and the Flames are not yet talking on who will pay how much for a building to replace the Saddledome

Family searching for B.C. professor last seen at Colombian salsa club

Ramazan Gencay, a professor in economics at Simon Fraser University, was last seen in Medellin

Rash of bomb threats a learning opportunity for response capacity, Goodale

Thursday’s wave of bomb threats swept across communities on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border

Mike Duffy can’t sue Senate over suspension without pay, judge rules

Duffy’s lawsuit sought more than $7.8 million from the upper chamber

Language on Sikh extremism in report will be reviewed, Goodale says

A public-safety ministry document indicats terrorist threats to Canada included a section on Sikh extremism for the first time

Most Read