NEWS: Ethical Football Gear
Bill Shankly, the legendary Liverpool Football Club manager, once said that Football is not a matter of life or death, it is much more important than that.
To many Brits and the remaining near 3 billion people who will be watching the FIFA World Cup 2006 final on 9 July in Berlin we know what he means.
Sadly for the people that produce the balls, boots and other equipment commonly used in the game it often is a matter of life and death due to poor labour standards and practices.
Oxfam recently compared sports brands to find out who used sweatshops etc and the results are worth reading. No brand gets a pass from Oxfam (or from Christian Ronaldo for that matter) although some are clearly better than others. (Thanks Mrs Moo, for the Play Fair! link to that Oxfam report.)
I wanted to see if I could put together a stylish football (or soccer) kit made up entirely of ethical components. The good news is that it was not that hard and here are the results:
Boots: Ethically produced from Vegetarian Shoes for only £25 reduced from £54.95 (NOTE: they tell me they have less than 50 pairs left so get them while you can).
Balls: Fairtrade from Fair Deal Trading from only £9.49
T-Shirts: Fairtrade AND Organic from Epona from £9.99
Cargo Shorts: Sweatshop free from Justice Clothing for $49.50
Socks: Organic AND Fairtrade from Ralper for only £3.50
Misc etc: Get your other football (or soccer) needs including goalie gloves, bags, ball pumps and even an entire Fairtrade kit for your team from Fair Deal Trading.
Now I am not advocating you go out and buy it all but isn't it nice to know you could play the beautiful game without trampling on the freedom of others.
They think it's all ethical...it is now.
Come on England!