It's quite common to see larger organisations speak on the topic of ethical standards, particularly in their manufacturing processes. The sad part is that many of them had taken advantage of 'slave labour' in the form of sweat shops and child labour for many years to improve the bottom line, and in turn satisfy shareholders, be it a PLC or a privately owned organisation.
What's great to see is that these larger organisations are now leading the charge and change when it comes to this issue, actively seeking ethical partners and showing a level of transparency not seen before. In most, driven by the demands of the consumer who no longer finds it acceptable to pay a cheaper price no matter what the cost, sadly one needs ask if these organisations had never been exposed for sweat shop practices, then would there have been any change at all.
As a small business owner I often thought, what can I do to make sure I avoid engaging with partners that do run sweat shops, use child labour and or other practices that go against my own moral and ethical compass. The other questions is, how much of a difference will it make, and the answer is it doesn't matter how little or how much, it's simply the right thing to do and as a collective, all small business combined can make a big impact.
By making these choices as small business owners, it begins to choke these practices out of existence, the ideal outcome is for these sweatshops to move away from 'cheapest price wins' as this is a one way race to the bottom.
As for me and KALON Sneakers, I will continue to make ethical and moral choices which align with my moral compass, it's how I want to live and how I want my business to represent itself in the business community.
EVELYN'S STORY Evelyn Garlaounis, mum wife and the founder and owner of KALÒN SNEAKERS, she has been an active sneaker head for years and is passionate about creating sneakers which are stylish, functional and are not stereotyped by gender. Ev started out as a check-out chick at a major [...]