Without fair pay, sustainability is dead

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When you buy from an ethical business, you know that the people behind that purchase were paid a living wage.

Not “just enough to scrape by” – but enough to sleep soundly at night knowing the bills are paid, the basics are covered and there’s a financial safety net. 

Paying a living wage is key to lifting people out of poverty. A very real problem both in the UK and overseas.

It’s also a powerful way to tackle the climate crisis – by making your own conscious consumption matter more.

Paying a living wage means people can afford access to better housing – with better insulation (and a lower carbon footprint). 

Paying a living wage means people can afford higher quality, more healthy food, with lower food miles. 

More planet-friendly options like Organic become accessible, along with Fairtrade – so the power of a living wage is passed along to others too.

When people are paid a living wage, they’re not working around the clock to make ends meet, or worrying about how to survive until payday.

They can enjoy a disposable income, and, with a little more time available to them, they too can invest in sustainable clothes instead of fast fashion, research eco-alternatives and buy from ethical brands.

When you’re living paycheck to paycheck, you can’t always afford to consume less. 

You often have to buy the cheapest option, even if you know it will wear out or break in a few months and you’ll have to buy it again.

The wealthier you are, the higher your carbon footprint.

But equally, the more disposable income you earn, the greater your potential to create change.

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A living wage shouldn’t be a privilege. Nobody should come home from a hard day’s work having earned less than they need to live.

However, while the legal minimum wage remains lower than a real living wage, some cost saving companies will always choose to pay less.

But if you have disposable income, you can choose whether to spend your money with those companies or not.

If you have disposable income, you have the power to consume less, and buy better, more sustainable products that are made to last.

If you have a disposable income, you can help out an end to poverty, simply by shifting the way you shop.

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