A couple of weeks ago I attended an event as a vendor. I was right across from Wal-Mart. At first I was thinking, "Hey, this could be a good place! We're exactly the opposite of Wal-Mart, something different, etc."
But its hard to compete with a "competitor" when you're not giving away bag loads, and I do mean bag loads, of free stuff.
People would come over to my booth and show me their totes full of free contact cases, saline and other products and they literally said to me, "What am I going to do with all this stuff? Who needs all this junk?"
It made me feel sick. Because I have a pretty good idea of who made that stuff and didn't get paid for it.
We try to do the exact oppose of guilt induced marketing here. We tell you the stories of our artisans and survivors of human trafficking who have made the products we carry in order to inspire and motivate change in this world. Using guilt tactics and pity gestures would only be degrading and condescending to their work and stories. We want you to buy DFC because it is purposeful and beautiful.
Sometimes we also have to face reality about what is actually happening out there and this is one of those times.
Wal-Mart's motto is "Save Money, Live Better". When we pay less at Wal-Mart, we are indeed saving money (unless we use that savings to buy more), but who is living better? The suggestion eludes to the thought that by having more money, by having more stuff, life is better.
I fully acknowledge that things aren't economically thriving according to the statistics in our nation today. Times are tight. Things are tough. Expenses add up. Someone told me once that instead of buying a house you should just dig a hole and start throwing your money in it. I couldn't agree more.
But overall, when Wal-Mart saves us money, who is living better? Us?
I can tell you who isn't.
The person who made the product we just walked away with for a steal. They call it a steal because someone isn't getting paid.
When we purchase something made in China for $3, where is the money going? On the whole, an item is sold at retail at double what it was purchased for at the wholesale rate. That means your $3 item cost Wal-Mart $1.50. That $1.50 amount includes the cost of material, shipping, import rates and labor. The first thing to be cut when it comes to cost is labor wages. Always.
Wal-Mart is known for its practice of using child slavery in creating its clothing, which is absolutely reflected in the prices it charges for that clothing.
Now, this conversation bites to have because getting a good deal is a lot of fun! I love feeling like I can enjoy the things I purchase and get a good deal at the same time. When I shop I go to the clearance rack every time. It's just fun.
But, this year you can get a good deal and support valid causes while you're Christmas shopping.
So, here's my challenge to you.
Do something different this year when you're buying your Christmas presents for others. Look at companies to see which ones don't use child slavery for labor and consider supporting them. Check out this guide to see if your favorite stores are fighting the child labor industry.
Pick one person, one gift and make sure it hasn't been created with bonded labor this year. Just one.
Buying with purpose - on purpose - will leave you, the gift giver changed. It will do something to you when you receive it in the mail and then give that gift. And when the receiver opens it, with their gift enclosure stating that what they are holding has changed a life, it will do something to them as well.
Why am I okay with shamelessly promoting you to buy DFC? Because I'm not being paid to do it. Our goal with this business is that it will sustain itself. It would be wonderful to be paid for the work involved here someday but today is not that day. Today is the day for growth and to wrap our arms around artisan groups here and abroad giving you enough selection to find something for that one person on your list.
Fair trade, DFC, not cutting it for those on your Christmas list? Then buy American, because that's always fair trade. America has standards for dignified working conditions and fair wages - maybe not the highest wages, but definitely more than $1 a day.
That's my Christmas challenge for you.
And now, here's some joy to help out your wallet. :)
We are so thankful for all of you who have wrapped your arms around us and supported and encouraged us in so many different ways in the past year. As a token of our thanks we are having a site wide sale tomorrow, Cyber Monday, for you! Everything - and I do mean everything - will be 30% off!!! So, tomorrow from 12am to 12pm EST use coupon code "FUNSHOP" and save 30% on your entire order!!! Wow!
A big thank you for your purchases in advance. They are so appreciated!!
So, head on over to DFC and take your Christmas Challenge!!