Did a child make your child’s clothes?

Last time on Enrichmentality, we examined the equation ethical = expensive, and found that, in most cases, we can’t trust this assumption. Sometimes, clothing is cheap and nasty. But it can be expensive and nasty, too. In fact, some of the most expensive brands had the very worst environmental and social records according to the Ethical Fashion Report. But I came across something important when I was analysing the data included in the report. And that was the fact that most of the brands surveyed that sold exclusively or primarily children’s clothing scored abysmally.

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Does ethical fashion = expensive?

Cheap fashion, we are told, is to blame for the appalling standards of workers in factories, and for environmental devastation. This is a story we are told over and over again – with the implication that we should be paying more for our clothes, and perhaps if we were all prepared to pay just a bit more, this problem would simply go away.

I decided to put this theory to the test: Are cheaper clothes necessarily less ethical? And are more ethical clothes necessarily more expensive?

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Why does garbage get published?

Corporations may not have a legal obligation to maximise shareholder profits. But the belief that they must do everything (within the law) to make money is certainly widespread. Of the ‘Big Five’ publishers, four are public companies. Regardless of their legal obligations, they must keep their shareholders happy. And shareholders are usually made happy through a) increased share price, b) fat dividends or c) a combination of the above.

Smart investors, of course, are those who are in it for the long-term. Who want any increase in share price to be one which reflects an increase in the value of the underlying company. Who want any increase in dividends to reflect an increase in the company’s profits.

‘Surely, increased share prices are good?’ I hear you say. Or, ‘Who wouldn’t want to receive a nice big dividend?’

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Should you ‘spend a penny’?

One of the things I love about Europe vs Australia is how much cheaper it is to buy relatively healthy drinks. Flavoured water or milk, for example, compared to soft drinks. It might only cost you a handful of cents for a bottle of water. Yet it’s important to remember it might cost you as much – if not more – going out as going in.
Over the last three years, we’ve visited more than fifty countries throughout Europe, Asia, and the Americas.
And one of the cultural differences that never ceases to astound – and alarm – me is that of toilets.

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Were things better in the ‘good old days’?

Language helps us to reflect upon the past. And ever since we’ve been able to do so, it seems, we’ve been comparing it unfavorably to the present.

In 500 BC, the Ancient Greeks lamented the passing of the supposed ‘Golden Age’. Back then, ‘men lived like Gods’. And every generation since the year dot seems to think that the next generation is screwing everything up. But should we be taking a conservative view and looking towards the past? Or taking a progressive view and looking toward the future?

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How can I talk about money to people who don’t want to listen?

Last year, I took a long break from posting, in part because I was working on other projects (finishing off my first novel manuscript, yay!). But it was also in part because I felt sick of talking.

Specifically, I was sick of talking about money to people who don’t want to listen.

If you have someone in your life who doesn’t want to hear it when it comes to money (or if you yourself don’t!) read on!

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