Baptist World Aid produces an Ethical Fashion Guide which rates companies on whether the goods they sell are produced ethically - is child labour used, are workers paid a fair wage etc? Bardo, Valleygirl and TEMT all scored a D (that's bad). Cotton On, Supre and Factorie scored an A.
Thousands of children go without Christmas gifts each year because their families can't afford them. You may not have a lot of money, but perhaps you can afford to buy a toy for an underprivileged child. You can leave gifts at Target stores around Australia and Uniting Care will distribute them to those in need. Find out more here.
If you live in Australia, you probably have everything that you need - a good education, clothes, a house to live in, clean water and food to eat. Millions of people go without these necessities around the world. This Christmas, instead of giving more stuff that we don't really need, why don't you give a useful gift. TEAR Australia is an aid organisation whose Build a Village campaign allows you to purchase useful things for poor villages such as chickens, education supplies, a garden etc. You can print and colour a model to give to your friends and family this Christmas. Find our more here.
Sythia is a 17 year old Compassion sponsor child in Kenya. Along with four of her peers she developed an app for mobile phones that has a panic button girls can press to alert authorities that they are at risk of FGM (Female Genital Mutilation). This is a cultural practice that is illegal but still carried out on about a quarter of all Kenyan women. The app also has resources for girls who have already undergone the ritual.
The girls were invited to Google headquarters where they participated in the 2017 Technovation challenge. They came second and won $10,000 to develop their app. Thanks to her sponsorship Synthia can go to school and has access to computers at the Compassion centre. You may wonder how your small contribution helps but her family of 13 survives on $2 Australian dollars per day.
You can read more about Synthia at https://www.compassion.com.au.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, philanthropy is an act or gift done or made for humanitarian purposes. Just because you are a teenager who does not have thousands of dollars to give away does not mean you can't be a philanthropist. West Australian based organisation Impact100 gives people the opportunity to put their money together with other people and choose which charities to give it to. They have a YoungImpact100 program for 12-18 year olds where the teens collect or save $100 to donate then attend a fun grant event where they pool their money with other teens and together choose a charity to donate the money to.
Generosity magazine has an article on other organisations in Australia with a similar purpose. You can find it here.
Much improvement has been made recently in the areas of fair pay, forced labour and child labour in the fashion industry but there is still a long way to go. In Uzbekistan, children and government workers are forced to leave school and their jobs (doctors, nurses, teachers etc.) to pick cotton over the summer. Many fashion labels do not know where the cotton they purchase comes from or the conditions under which it was picked and processed. You can make a difference by purchasing clothes that are made ethically. You can download the 2017 Ethical Fashion Guide here.
Australia has the second highest average wealth per adult in the world, after Switzerland. As you read this, 23 Million people are facing starvation in east Africa - that is almost the entire population of Australia. You might wonder what you can do to help as you are probably just a broke student. If we all give what we can, we can make a difference. You could be creative and raise money to donate to one of the many charities working in this area. I have listed some below:
Baptist World Aid
Have you considered donating a gift to someone less fortunate this Christmas? The K-Mart Wishing Tree Appeal collects gifts and donates them to charities to give to children in need. If you can't afford a gift by yourself, you could get a group of friends together and pool your resources to buy a gift. You can wrap it and leave it under the tree at K-Mart. Find out more here.