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Ways to create a better world through ethical consumption Updated: 2017-08-29 11:53:11 KST

Earlier this month, more than 50 farms in the country were found to have used illegal, toxic pesticides,. resulting in contaminated eggs bound for supermarket shelves.
And now, there's a probe into one company's sanitary pads said to have caused health problems in women due to the hazardous chemicals used to make them.
The combination of these has some pointing to unscrupulous practices that may be more widespread than previously thought.

"In order to lower the price, many products are being made by exploiting workers and cutting necessary costs. This lowers the overall product quality and makes it hard for consumers to choose which product to trust and purchase."

A bakery in southern Seoul, famous for its fresh and healthy ingredients, has had a steady customer base for the past decade.
The baker wakes up at 3 a.m. every morning to knead dough made of organic flour.
The owner personally visits different parts of the country to find and purchase the best fruits and other ingredients every season.

"I put a great deal of value in the safety and healthiness of our products. Just like our company name, we try to make bread as if we were a father wanting to feed his children with peace of mind."

For some, the solution is "ethical consumption."
Just like this bakery has found out, ethical consumption is catching on.
It's a way of spending in which people consider not only the price and quality of a product but also the ethical aspects of the production process.

"Its about looking at a product from the beginning to the end. From the manufacturing process to distribution, and even how its disposal could affect the environment."

A non-profit charity shop called "Beautiful Store" is another place that promotes ethical spending.
The shop sells fair-trade items made in developing countries, as well as those made by people in need, offering benefits to both creator and buyer.

[STAND UP] ed: Devin
"This cookie was made by people with disabilities who are acquiring new skills at a social enterprise to pursue their independence."

The profits from the cookie sales are used to help others who need treatment or financial assistance.

"I think the price is reasonable, the quality is nice, and most of all, it has a good purpose. I come here often to shop for myself and even buy stuff for my friends."

The shop also re-sells donated products and creates new things out of them
"We are also selling these bags made out of thrown away sofas, donated leather and used jeans."

"Ethical spending is about thinking of the social and environmental effects that follow consumption. But many manufacturers have a hard time reaching out to consumers, so we are acting as a bridge that can help them enter the market."

Efforts to "purchase with a good purpose" have also spread to online shops.
An online mall called Ethica connects people involved in the ethical consumption market with fair trade items and products made by social enterprises.

"I think people can practice ethical spending more easily if there is a platform where they can find different kinds of valuable products on a single website."

As more organizations work to promote products that encourage ethical consumption, experts say the most important thing at this point is to get the public to look at spending in a new way.

Kim Mok-yeon, Arirang News.
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