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Low Risk For Exploitation Thread

It would be really great to have an information outlet that allows consumers to know where they can find items for purchase from companies at low risk for exploitation. My first entry is a phone that I purchased. I asked the man at the counter where the phone was made. We searched until I felt comfortable with the manufacturing country.

Blackberry Pearl 8130
Purchased at Best Buy
Made in Canada

Interestingly, some phone companies provide the same model phone from different countries. You can simply ask the sales representative to check for the label (behind the battery). The only thing I worry about is the fact that the accessories were made in China. They come with the phone. I actually went over my budget for the phone. The cost of a human life is much higher in my book.


Corine Milano's picture

Great suggestion, Elizabeth.

Great suggestion, Elizabeth. I'll keep this in mind next time I make a purchase!

Corine Milano, Assistant Editor

--"We will surely get to our destination if we join hands."
Aung San Suu Kyi --

Elizabeth's picture


Another idea that I stumbled upon this year was to ask for either NO presents for my birthday -or- the alternative fair trade. You know my mom hooked me up. I will share. ~:0)

I got:

A tin of fair trade Ambrosia White Plum Organic Tea. It is fair trade certified, USDA Organic, Kosher AND the Zhena's Gypsy Tea Company donates a portion of the proceeds to fund immigrant and refugee women through C.E.O. Women, a U.S. based micro-enterprise development organization:

A box of Sjaaks Organic Chocolates with a beautiful card made in Nepal

*Taraluna sells these items on their site (*

A wool shoulder bag 'Andean Dream' which was purchased through Novica in association with National Geographic (

Everything was wrapped so nicely. My mom rocks!

Maria Jett's picture

Hooray for you and your mom!

Your example is a great idea for us all to consider. Giving gifts is such a delicious pleasure... Thank you so much for providing detailed and direct information about how we can incorporate this social practice into the work of activism.

I really respect and appreciate your work, Elizabeth. Your voice is strong, and it's terrific to see this discussion developing.

With gratitude,

Maria Jett, Online Community Director

Jennifer Ruwart's picture

Gifts that Give Back

Ten Thousand Villages is a great retailer for finding fair trade goodies.

Global Exchange seems to be a great resource:

Their vision:
We envision a people centered globalization that values the rights of workers and the health of the planet; that prioritizes international collaboration as central to ensuring peace; and that aims to create a local, green economy designed to embrace the diversity of our communities.

In a world where the economics of quantity fuels corporate power and political greed, the elite are reaping profits while working people and the planet are left to pay the price. In response to the global degradation caused by this system of elite globalization, Global Exchange envisions an alternative economics of quality centered upon protecting international human rights to ensure that the cost of globalization does not come at the expense of us all.

Corine Milano's picture

great resources,

great resources, jennifer.

Now I know where to go for those last remaining holiday gifts!

Corine Milano, Assistant Editor

--"We will surely get to our destination if we join hands."
Aung San Suu Kyi --

Elizabeth's picture

Does Anyone Know?

I would like to start purchasing my shoes through orgs that don't outsource to regions at high risk for exploitation. I find that Teva offers good standards. There are a few others listed in Co-Ops green pages. I can't seem to find any for the office though. The only ones I can find are either too causual, sandals or evening (and a bit pricey). Please let me know if you can think of anyone. I will post if I find...

Maria de Chirikof's picture

Great thread

I think it is hard to find that good balance since I support many ideas and will buy a phone that is not paid for with human suffering but the phone that came free with my cellphone service was a Motorola and I see the emails from places saying how they support the bombing of Palestinians and feel torn by using it. So, as a compromise we only use it for calling home or for work. It is not ideal but will have to do until I can afford a more human-friendly one.

thanks for the post and the links,


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