The recent hoopla regarding Scarlett Johansson and her conflict of interest as both an ambassador for SodaStream and Oxfam has given many pause for thought regarding their choices as a consumer. Such was the scope of the public’s attention, given Johansson’s Hollywood celebrity status, that the situation with the West Bank was considered by many whose orbit the issue would typically never encounter.

Furthermore, in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, consumers have considered boycotting certain Russian products along with hindering the sale of Russian oil.

The issue of ethical consumption, of course, is nothing new. Animal rights activists have been touting their stance on the various vulgarities of the meat industry and animal products for decades, and lovers of chocolate have had their pleasurable experience of indulging their sweet tooth to be dampened by the often harsh realities of cocoa industry.

However, such high-profile incidents such as Johannson and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have resulted in a spike in the number of those considering the implications of ethical consumption.

Meanwhile, the Fairtrade label continues to gather steam, offering an easily identifiable option for ethically sound purchases. While the label has received some flack over the years with questions raised regarding the distribution of its profits, it still is the fastest growing group dealing with ethical trade in the world. And that can hardly be perceived as a bad thing.

Nonetheless, it all boils down to a simple question: What choices will you make in future regarding your consumption?

James O’Sullivan