City Hippy

The diary of our struggle to live a green and fair life.

Google Search:

City Hippy

CityHippy has posted its last post now (I now work for EMP plc, run At Home magazine online and more and personally blog over at Why? Click here to find out. We might be back. Keep our RSS feeds, keep us bookmarked, sign up for the news alert on the right. You never know...

We are dedicated to exploring how to live a greener and more ethical life. City Hippy is a growing collective of writers bringing you two types of content:

ARTICLES: Enjoy real content by real people trying really hard to live a greener and fairer life. Generally in-depth with weekly updates at least. Located in main body below.Subscribe:
BOOKMARKS: Follow our web travels & explore our 1400+ links to a greener life across various categories i.e. baby, cosmetics, DIY, furniture, garden & shopping. Short, sharp and frequent updates. Located down to the right. Click here to see our latest three bookmarks.Subscribe:


Thursday, February 09, 2006

INTERVIEW: Craig Sams (part 5)

Things are starting to get really interesting now and in this installment, the fifth ( 1 2 3 4 ) of our Craig Sams interview series, we find out what Craig's vision of the future is.

CityHippy: After all the Fairtrade talk Craig we have a nice gentle one for you now...what is your vision of the future?

Craig Sams: Transparency is a wonderful thing. When everyone understands what’s behind everything they buy and do then it’s easier for them to judge which way to go. I think that in the future you will have to do good to do well, there will be no hiding place for bad practice. There are a lot of rich people on this planet and a lot of poor, the poor need to be richer and trade justice will bring that to them, without depriving the rich of their wealth. But everything, energy, clothes, food, is going to cost more once the rules of trade become just and that means that we in the rich West are going to have to be less wasteful, greedy and extravagant.

Great stuff. Key word for me is Transparency. Hidden costs are now being revealed. We have been enjoying a luxurious lifestyle at the expense of people and planet. Economists refer to these hidden costs as 'externalities' aka 'someone else's problem' (want more on that? Watch the great movie: The Corporation).

When trapped on a lifeboat you tend to ration drinking water and if someone is caught stealing water then they tend to get tossed over the side.

Given the fact that we are all in the same boat we have to get away from a ME culture and replace it with a WE culture.

That is what the Triple Bottom Line is all about. Business can make money without screwing people and planet. Plenty of good folks are proving it by using less chemicals and better labour and growing practices. Find them. Support them. Encourage them. Change the world. Vote with your cash!

Join us for part 6 when Craig explains what the biggest obstacle to his vision is (and boy does he feel passionate about it) and how we get past it.



Technorati tags:


At 6:59 PM, Anonymous joeturner said...

You may (or may not) be interested to know that the Ethiscore website
currently has a rating for various chocolate brands on the front page.

G&B has a rather low 8/20 - lower even than Thorntons.

Which goes to show how much notice we should take of the enviro-bigots.


At 7:03 AM, Blogger Maya said...

Another great post. I totally agree...triple bottom line and transparency...I support it all the way :-) Poor people need to be's our responsibility.

At 9:31 AM, Blogger City Hippy said...

Hey Joe (love that Hendrix song),

See thats what bothers me about all of this. G&B are an ethical company, the first to take fairtrade to the market.

But because they sold to Cadbury's, seemingly out of neccessity as Craig Sams said (see here and here) in our recent interview with him, they are now a less ethical company. Even less ethical than Thorntons...which I, as an average consumer, think is absolute rubbish.

This is just not a true reflection. I love ethiscore but I think we have a problem here.

As the organic and ethical marketplace matures surely we will see more big businesses buying successful ethical brands.

And that will mean ethical brands will become victims of their own success.




At 8:27 PM, Anonymous joeturner said...

Well, I come from a religion where we have a lot of bigots and fundamentalists. I have been around the deep greens for many years. I used to play spot the difference between the people them.

Now I don't bother.

The thing is that if you dig deep enough, you can find enough dung to bury anything. Let us not forget that Fry's and Cadbury's were the social progressives of their time. Yes, they should do better, but because G&B were bought out by Cadbury's that suddenly makes them contaminated? Excuse me?

The real trouble is that people read this stuff and conclude that unless you're buying all the most ethical brands, all the most environmental products, you're a total loser. Environmentalism becomes a binary choice between the 'best' and everyone else. If you feed people enough of this propaganda it makes people give up altogether.

My choice in business is the same as in religion. I don't want to be seen as an obnoxious tosser, frankly. The road towards sustainability is windy and tortuous. We're not there yet. Yes, we need to keep our ideals and yes we need to keep the pressure on the brands to change their ways. But we do need to keep hold of our humanity in the midst of our activism.

At 10:36 PM, Blogger City Hippy said... da man!

I agree totally...I am all about being positive and encouraging people to do what they can...and to educate themselves...

I am against being judgemental and holier than thou and all 'I am greener than you' - this ain't a competition, this ain't about ego. This is about doing ones best.

Life is not black or white.




Post a Comment

<< Home