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Product Pairs - Extreme items - Environmental / Social / Economic

Environmental issues

Remarkable recycled plastic cup pen, from www.remarkable.co.uk, tel. 0208 741 1234 (10 for £4.25) compared with a cheap biro sourced locally.

Issues to consider
• What is the barrel made from?
• How long does the ink last?
• Can old pens be reused in any way?

Organic cotton socks from www.naturalcollection.com compared with locally sourced synthetic socks.

Issues to consider
• Use of fertilisers and pesticides
• Use of synthetic dyes compared with natural colours
• Energy use

Compare the finger toothbrush with an electric toothbrush sourced locally.
For details of the finger toothbrush see www.no-shank.com

Issues to consider
• Energy in use
• Materials needed in manufacture
• Possibility of disassembly
• Packaging

Shopping Bags
Compare the Fair trade Sisal Durable Shopping bag £12.95 www.naturalcollection.com with any conventional shopping or plastic bag.

Issues to consider
• Durability
• Litter
• Waste

Social issues

Compare a Razanne doll with a Barbie

• Do toys encourage awareness of other cultures or reinforce stereotypes?
• Use of materials to make toys – recycled textiles.
• Barbie to be made from recycled plastics?

Chicken soup
Compare a ‘standard’ chicken soup and kosher Jewish soup.
The Jewish religion includes dietary laws. These laws determine which food is acceptable and in conformity with Jewish Law. The word kosher is an adaptation of the Hebrew word meaning fit or proper. It refers to foodstuffs that meet the dietary requirements of Jewish Law.

• What is the social and cultural impact of choosing certain products?
• Is it important to conserve culturally different ways of doing things?

Economic issues

Compare a locally sourced product made by, for example, Mars or Nestle with Green & Black or Divine Chocolate, both available locally or from www.goodnessdirect.co.uk.
An article by the Daily Telegraph's Rachel Baird warns, ‘Up to 40 per cent of the chocolate we eat may be contaminated by slavery.’

Ivory Coast is the world's biggest producer of cocoa beans with over a million cocoa farms and plantations. A British TV documentary, ‘Slavery,’ claimed that 90 per cent of Ivory Coast cocoa plantations use slave labour. Most are young men and boys from impoverished areas in Benin, Togo and Mali. They are enticed by traffickers who promise them paid work, housing and an education. Instead, they are sold to Ivory Coast cocoa plantation owners who beat them into submission and offer no pay for gruelling, 18-hour days. Big companies like Nestle purchase their cocoa on international exchanges where cocoa from Ivory Coast is mixed with cocoa from other countries and loses its identity as a slave-made product.

Compare Qibla Cola www.qibla-cola.com      Email: [email protected],
Qibla Cola Company Ltd
PO BOX 6440
Derby DE1 9NE
Tel: 01332 371 001
Call for details of your local distributor with a locally sourced coke.

The boycotting of major brands, such as Coca-Cola, across the Muslim world, has highlighted the anger felt by consumers towards such companies. Increasingly Muslims are questioning the role these brands play in their societies, and are seeking out alternatives - brands that don’t use the revenues they earn to support injustices.

Questions that Qibla Cola ask of other brands of cola:
1. Do your products contain any alcohol or animal extracts?
2. Does your company contribute towards any states that oppress Muslims?
3. Does your company contribute to third world causes?
4. Does your company exploit the work force in the third world?