I lost heart in this blog before Christmas when I realised it really wasn’t possible to rid my life of multinationals.
I had been quite enjoying myself finding out which companies were multinationals but really it was just an exercise on giving things up. I had not been to any High Street shop except EWM1 since I started.
Then I decided I needed to buy a new top for Christmas so I did a quick search of the M&Co2 website and on first reading it seemed ok, family firm, no branches abroad etc so I jumped on a 26 bus and went off to Musselburgh to my nearest branch. The assistant was great and hunted me out a top which was on display in the large lady section but they had smaller ones on the sale rail. I thought I had found a place where I could buy clothes, guilt free, but as I my transaction went through the assistant showed me pictures of their new branch, in Dubai! I could have cried. However I was too embarrassed to ask her to void the sale.
I took refuge in the fact that I had not bought anything from the big supermarkets. Then on December 24th when I went down to Scot-Mid3 to buy marzipan to ice my Christmas cake and mincemeat for pies, it had run out so I had to further swallow my pride and head to Morrison’s4 to get some.
I needed to alter the terms of this blog!
After Christmas I got the most awful cold and was laid up for three weeks so I apologise for the lack of posts.
From this post onwards I will be going though different areas of commerce and pointing out those that are multinationals as I have been but I am not going to promise to avoid them but to comment on those that are more ethically sound and give an indication of those that are the best choice for the more ethically aware buyer.
By ethical I mean using ethically sourced raw ingredients, FSC branded timber or paper etc, pay their fair share of tax, which can be more than the legal amount (Goggle for example has just made an agreement with the HMRC to pay tax which amounts to 3% of their profits which is just disgusting given their huge profits5), pay their foreign workers a fair wage for the country they are working in etc, etc.
This means the blog can still be used to find out which companies are Multinationals which I believe is a useful thing to do both for myself and the world at large.
It is going to be a bit more difficult and I may not be able to do it but I am going to give it a try.
This will also mean that franchises like Spar6 and Cost Cutters7 will come back on my approved list as I feel a bit mean excluding them as they are generally small businesses banding together to increase their buying power.
I also feel it is a bit silly excluding businesses that cover the UK and Eire as although they are definitely separate states they are joined together and there are a lot of companies that only operate in these countries and no others, therefore only slightly multinational. This would mean that I could use the Cameo8 and Cineworld9 cinemas and buy Lily O’Brien10 chocolates amongst other things!
I have now interrogated the M and Co2 website and they have had stores or franchises in other countries since 2012. However on reading their ethical policy I think I will use them again as it seems good.
Anyway I am back now and I hope you can join me on my journey to a more ethical but easier life!