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Archive | Fair Trade and Labour Rights

Santa’s sustainable gift selection

Photo credit: Jon Newman (Flickr)

Photo credit: Jon Newman (Flickr)

The silly season is just weeks away, bringing with it a gift-hunting and Christmas shopping frenzy. This doesn’t mean your environmental and ethical conscience needs to go out the window, though. Jess Noble rounds up the best eco-friendly and fair trade presents around, for everyone from your nana to your furry friend.

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Six must-see documentaries about sustainability and the environment

6 must-see documentaries

Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth made waves around the world when it burst onto screens in 2006. It won the 2007 Oscar for Best Documentary Feature and spurred the creation of non-profit organisation Climate Reality Project, which unites people around the world to share the message of climate change.

Film is a powerful medium to share important messages about the environment, sustainability and human or animal rights. Here are six documentaries that turn the spotlight on important environmental and ethical issues facing us today. Continue Reading →

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Superannuation: still one of you biggest opportunities to change the world

If you’re of working age, the chances are you have thousands of dollars at your disposal that could be used to build a better world.

Your superannuation builds up little by little with each pay cheque.  Yet many of us are not aware of what the money does before we collect it in retirement.  Has it been invested in companies that contribute to climate change?  Are we passively funding something that goes against our values? Continue Reading →

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Can you help us make ethical shopping fun and easy for millions of consumers?


We’re taking ethical shopping to the next level – and we need your help.

Here’s how YOU can help millions of shoppers make more ethical fashion choices.

As members of the Otter community, we know you take your ethical shopping seriously.
Maybe you already know which brands align with your values and which ones to avoid.

But new research from UTS Sydney shows that about 25 per cent of shoppers have ‘mixed feelings’ about buying ethically.

And it found that the most commonly cited reason for not buying responsibly was confusion about what makes a product ethical.

Everyone wears clothes, let’s help them choose wisely

It’s hard to overstate how big the global fashion industry is and how many people are impacted by it on a daily basis.

We’re talking about the second most polluting industry in the world after oil, and the third for climate change impact.

That’s why at Otter’s sister-project Good On You, we’ve spent the last couple of years building an online database of almost 3000 brands – each of them rated for their ethical practices.

Now we want to take it to the next level and make that information easily available to millions of consumers. To do that, we need your help.

The Good On You Ethical Fashion App

Good On You App Results page We’re very excited to announce our campaign to crowdfund the Good On You Ethical Shopping Assistant app.

The app enables you to search for a product you’re interested in.  It lists all the brands near you, shows their ethical rating, and where to buy them.

Or you can search for a brand and see how rates and compare with other brands that do better.

Once you’ve made a choice, the app helps you find stores near you.

It’s Not Just About Shopping

The value of apparel sales globally was estimated to be US$1.2trillion in 2012.

By putting the information in the hands of you the consumer, the Good On You Ethical Shopping Assistant app enables you to make an informed choice about where to spend your money.

If you don’t like what a brand is doing you can take your money elsewhere.

And we know that’s the kind of pressure that forces companies to make changes to their production methods.

Some Brands Are Listening  …

Around the world a number of major retailers are already developing schemes to provide consumers with useful ethical information.

Marks and Spencer, for example, highlights which products are Fairtrade, cruelty free or avoid poor labour practice. They are also committed to increasing the number of products with positive ethical qualities.

And just last month, David Jones announced that it was setting a target of making all 1600 brands in its stores sustainable, environmentally friendly, and free of child and slave-labour.

Nobody wants to see another Rana Plaza disaster, where more than 1,000 people lost their lives in the collapse of a Bangladeshi garment factory.

Everyone who creates clothes, sells clothes or buys clothes has an interest in cleaning up the industry and making it fair and sustainable.

It’s Up to Us to Persuade More Brands to Change

Good On You’s mission is to make it possible for you, the consumer, to shop with peace of mind and learn which brands are doing better on the issues you care about.

Please pledge your support for Good On You to help make the Ethical Shopping Assistant a reality.

Together we can harness the power of consumers to change the world.


What’s different about the Good on You app?

  • Clothing focus with more than 3,000 brands listed including many never researched before
  • Suggests alternative brands that do better on the issues you care about
  • Personalised to your values, and you can even teach it your style (think Tinder for brands)
  • Tells you the closest stores or online options for your chosen brand
  • Makes it easy to give direct feedback to companies from within the app
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Have a Christmas that’s merry for you and the world with Good Spender

good spender

Mark Daniels, Head of Market and Sector Development at social enterprise development organisation Social Traders, on their new social enterprise shop Good Spender!

Carols are playing in the supermarket, Christmas is coming, and the thought of presents is starting to loom large. This is a great opportunity to create social impact for individuals and communities by purchasing from a range of outstanding social enterprises on the Good Spender website.

Good Spender is an online marketplace where consumers who want to make a difference with their shopping can buy directly from social enterprises. Social enterprises are businesses that sell goods and services to benefit the community.

Every dollar you spend with a social enterprise goes directly to support the social purpose of that organization. This can range from creating employment for those with disabilities, the long term unemployed or indigenous Australians, through to protecting the environment and supporting nutrition and sanitation programs in developing countries.

This Christmas, Good Spender aims to be not just a platform for buying good and doing good, but also a convenient solution for ticking off your shopping list. Discover the broad range of products sold by social enterprises, and support their mission by buying from them, including:

Oz Fair Trade – beautifully home wares and jewelry handmade by local artisan from recycled bomb shells during the Vietnam War.


Summerland House Farm – farm fresh macadamia nuts, coffee, and gift hampers that create jobs for people with a disability.


Liminal Apparel  – fair trade and organic cotton bags and accessories that better the lives of local producers.


Niulife – a delicious and healthful range of extra-virgin coconut products that empowers third world producers.

Spend smart and do good these holidays. Visit for your Christmas shopping, and give gifts that make a difference. Also sign-up as a buyer to receive the newsletter, where you will be the first to know about new products and promotions such as free shipping!

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