Give a non-material gift this Christmas

Climate and other responsibility issues have been debated in public discussion this year more than ever before. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published its sixth report in September on the state of climate change, and soon after an international climate summit was held in Glasgow, where governments made new promises on how they are going to combat climate change. The Extinction Rebellion has protested on the streets of cities and there has been intense debate on social media on correct climate action and whether our current government is doing enough to fight climate change.

This discussion doesn’t seem to come to people’s minds when making decisions about buying things, though: a few weeks ago on Black Friday people were once again queuing to buy new things and malls were filled with consumers wandering from store to store looking for the best discounts. Gigantti, Intersport and Tokmanni, for example, have already opened websites for Black Friday 2022, even though the price comparison website Hintaopas found signs of price- and discount manipulation in the prices of tens of thousands of products this fall. This celebration of consumption is apparently so profitable to merchants that it is worth it to promote it a year in advance.

An association promoting ethical trade, Eetti, also published a report about the corporate responsibility of Finnish electronics manufacturers, which was not a flattering read. None of the eight brands that were ranked reached even reasonable levels of responsibility. Even Finnish brands’ responsible practices can’t be trusted, so how can you find a responsible gift that doesn’t burden the climate?

This Christmas, you can donate to support disabled Ethiopian university students instead of buying new things! SYL and our local partner ECDD have a development cooperation project in Ethiopia, which improves the position of disabled university students through different trainings, aids, and improving the accessibility of facilities. With only five euros you can fund a braille textbook for a blind student from our Holvi-store. Make truly responsible gift choices this year instead of falling victim to the greenwashing of multinational corporations.

Take yourself to our online store by clicking here (the link opens to a new window) for responsible gift shopping.


Iikka Sorvali

Member of SYL’s Development Cooperation Advisory Board

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