With Christmas approaching, should we only buy gifts made in France?
It was joyful this weekend. The shops opened their doors. We can do our shopping, prepare for Christmas - to make people happy while supporting the shopkeepers and producers. This is good news and a breath of fresh air for the French people and the economy. We can find small local shops as we prepare for Christmas.
As Christmas approaches, should we only buy gifts made in France?
To talk about this, I invited Yvonne, a colleague of Fondacio who works in the field of fair trade with Asia.
François : What do you think, Yvonne?
Yvonne: It is useful and necessary after this second confinement to buy French. It is a citizen gesture. But it is also useful to take a step back. The problem is that even for articles "made in France", particularly in the textile sector, this may have been produced by exploited men, women or even children. It is difficult to know the impact of our purchases unless we only buy them in fair trade shops. Vigilance and critical thinking are required to consume in an ecological and responsible manner.
François: But what solidarity with the rest of the world? How can we focus on ourselves, while remaining open to the precarious situations that are sometimes even more glaring elsewhere?
Yvonne: I will tell you an example that I know well and that I follow closely for Fondacio.
Julia Naw (former student of our institute in Asia, IFF Asia) has chosen to commit herself to help young women out of precariousness and an undesirable future. She created YounSone in Burma to produce contemporary items from local fabrics to enhance ancestral know-how.
I follow these young women from a distance and help them voluntarily to sell the products in France. For them, knowing that French people buy and appreciate their products is a sign of pride. It reinforces their confidence and their own know-how. I add that our products are imported without unnecessary CO2 emissions during essential journeys, by a small network of friends who support the initiative.
Buying an item like this to help a few Burmese women in a concrete way allows us to make a gesture of solidarity.
François: Yes, and that doesn't prevent us from going shopping in small shops.
By buying a YouSone-type product, you can be close to the foreigner and support him economically and ethically. It is not because we have marks of attention for our loved ones or our country that, for all that, we have to forget the rest of the world.
Thank you Yvonne.
In fact, thinking of others, near or far, is what the Christmas spirit is all about.
PS - YouSone - You can admire their know-how and consult the Noel 2020 catalogue.
To follow the news of these courageous women supported on the spot by young French volunteers.