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Tag Archives | consumerism

Voting with your dollar: Otter’s guide to boycotts

By Tony Ryan. 

We owe the word “boycott” to Charles C Boycott, but Charles didn’t stage the first boycott in history, or popularise the practice – he copped the boycott that gave boycotting its name. An English landowner in Ireland, Boycott was economically shunned by his entire community in 1880 after he evicted tenants who couldn’t pay.

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Boycotts can be personal affairs, as with my own (mostly) steadfast refusal to eat fast food (12 years running, if you don’t count one regrettable, alcohol-soaked lapse).[/pullquote]

Charles may have been incensed that his name was borrowed that way, and, being an old-timey member of the landed class, he may have been the kind of bloke to be equally angered that boycotting caught on as a popular mode of activism – the most popular form, if you ask George Monbiot. Since Charles’s day, boycotts, mass refusals to patronise a company – or even a whole country – on the grounds of its behaviour, have been many and various: they’re prompted by concerns ranging from animal welfare and workers’ rights to environmental degradation. They can be well organised, as with the famous Delano Grape Strike of the ’60s, in which over 14 million Americans refused to eat grapes produced by the labour of underpaid workers in the States, or they can peter out with a whimper. They can span hemispheres and beyond, as has the decades-long fight over Nestlé’s sales of baby formula to developing countries, and they can be personal affairs, as with my own (mostly) steadfast refusal to eat fast food (12 years running, if you don’t count one regrettable, alcohol-soaked lapse).

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Ethical fashion blogs: the best around


Photo credit: Dave Gingrich (Flickr)


Who hasn’t heard something about ethical fashion one day, only to have it contradicted by another source the next day? There’s a wealth of blogs about ethical fashion on the web, but which are the best and most trustworthy? Jess Noble has you covered. 

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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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