Obviously companies are trying to compete with each other for our custom, and part of this is having competitive prices. I know that I like to shop for the cheapest price, but this might not always be a good thing.
Think about it. If we are paying $5 for a towel and $2 for a mug (on the latest KMart ad), how are they being made? If they can sell a decent towel for $5 and still make a profit, aren’t they screwing someone over somewhere along the line? How much are they paying the people that sold them the materials? The people who made it? The people who shipped it? Surely it is impossible to pay all these people properly and still sell a towel for $5 and make a profit.
Under these circumstances we are supporting practical slavery by buying these products.
KMart seems to be proud of this fact and they’re wearing it as a badge of honour (I get that they are not the only culprits, this is just one example that comes to mind based on their latest advertising campaign).
Surely this appeals to the utter selfishness of our consumeristic lifestyle. We would rather pay a few dollars less than give workers fair wages. But if it were us who were receiving the unfair wages there would be a riot. We don’t put up with that sort of thing, that’s why we have unions and such. Although it seems that we’re more than willing to support systems where other people are being screwed over.
EDIT: Here is a website were you can check any products in terms of ethical production: http://www.ethical.org.au/