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The Sweet Pursuit

Former Associate editor Margret Aldrich on the hunt for happiness, community, and how humans thrive

How Many Slaves Work for You?

Slavery map 

You’ve probably never thought of yourself as a supporter of slavery, but the online tool Slavery Footprint reveals evidence of forced labor in your closet, your garage, your refrigerator, and every other corner of your life.  

“Last month marked the anniversary of the announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation, which we all know ended slavery for good 149 years ago, right? Wrong,” writes Yuka Yoneda for Inhabitat. She continues: “While that’s what we in America are taught in our textbooks, slavery is still alive and well around the world (including in the U.S.). In fact, most of us have several slaves working for us at this very moment.”

Complete Slavery Footprint’s artfully designed survey to calculate the number of slaves who work for you, based on your lifestyle and the products you buy. Included are questions about family, housing, clothing, electronics, make-up, sex, and food, along with disturbing facts of modern-day enslavement. For example, Slavery Footprint writes:

Numerous products, down to the sporting goods in your hall closet, are the result of forced labor, asserts the website. “In China, soccer ball manufacturers will work up to 21 hours in a day, for a month straight.”

The site offers hope for consumer redemption (even if your score is as shamefully high as mine: 38!), with a free download of their antislavery app. “With the Made in a Free World app, you can check in at stores, asking brands about slavery in their supply chain as you shop,” they write, “and use it to counteract your slavery footprint.”

Source: Inhabitat 

Image by Slavery Footprint.