I think this is fascinating, I just did my survey and with my family of 5 we have 76 slaves. I definitely need to look into what companies we buy from and how they source all their materials.
How many slaves work for you?
There are more slaves in the world today – an estimated 27 million people – than at any other time in history.
And, if you wear jeans, use eye shadow, or own a pair of gold earrings, you may have as many as 7.3 slaves working for you, according to Slavery Footprint, a new online calculator and app that reveals how much your lifestyle depends on forced labor.
For your fashion and beauty coverage, I thought you’d you want to let your readers know about this new tool.
Rather than place guilt on shoppers or blame brands, the goal of Slavery Footprint is to personalize this complex issue. Once you receive your Slavery Footprint score, the app makes it easy for consumers to tell their favorite brands that they care about this issue and, more importantly, ask brands to independently assess if forced labor is used at any point in their supply chains.
To generate your Slavery Footprint, the interactive survey at slaveryfootprint.org asks 11 questions – from what’s in your closet and jewelry box and medicine cabinet to what gadgets you own. It then calculates a score based on where the raw materials in those products came from (such as minerals for eye shadow or cotton for t-shirts), how the finished products are made, and how many slaves are likely involved in its production.
- Using rigorous research and data analysis, the creators estimated the total number of forced laborers likely to have been involved in the production of more than 450 products – from cars (9 slaves), laptops (3.4 slaves), and smart phones (3.2 slaves) to diapers (1.9 slaves), cotton t-shirts (0.9 slaves) and oranges (0.1 slaves).
- To determine their Slavery Footprint, users complete an interactive, online lifestyle survey covering all aspects of their lives – from the size of their home to whether they are a gadget geek to the types of products in their medicine cabinet and closet.
- Once a survey is complete, the Slavery Footprint creates a visual illustration of their footprint that enables users to compare scores and easily share their footprints via social media, amplifying the conversation between consumers, brands, and producers.
- The free Slavery Footprint mobile app empowers consumers even further, providing tools for them to take action in the marketplace and earn Free World points, akin to carbon offsets. These actions include: Contacting more than 1,000 brands to ask that they verify that their supply chains do not rely on forced labor, or “checking in” on Facebook at retail chains to automatically let them know that you want to buy slave-free products. The app for iPhones and Android can be downloaded for free at www.slaveryfootprint.org.
- Slavery Footprint is brand agnostic, purposely not naming any brands because the idea is to inform consumers about forced labor behind everyday products and not to put brands on the spot. The fact is that major brands have done a good job battling sweatshops in developing nations. But what brands – and consumers – don’t know is where the supplies – like the cotton in t-shirts or tantalum in smart phones – come from. Slavery is rampant in all these supply chains and brands will find out where it all comes from when consumers begin to encourage them to find out. Once brands begin to audit their supply chains, people can begin to take a more active role in holding brands accountable.
- Call + Response is a division of the Fair Trade Fund, Inc, a non-profit organization whose goal is to generate awareness and deploy action for the issues of forced labor, slavery, and human trafficking.