The SDGs & why you are it’s only hope of success

Labake A.R
4 min readMay 22, 2020
Photo by Sven Brandsma on Unsplash

During the months of lockdown, both official and unofficial, I like most people have spent an unusual amount of time watching documentaries. From how old furniture is restored to the first female-only village, Umoja — I have consumed so much information which may not all turn out useful. However, one documentary of note focused on the child labour in mining communities in India and how the product mined, mica, is used in most makeup, paints and electrical goods the everyday person consumes. So this sparked the thought, how much of our lives and conveniences are we willing to alter if it meant better living conditions for communities we often don’t think our random £10 highlighter affects? So I began to ask myself, family and friends, how they would react to finding out that within the value chain of their favourite clothing brand, there are unresolved human rights issues such as child labour. And their answers reflected that they would immediately care and might even boycott such brands but would forget almost as quickly and remember the convenience of said brand, whether it be based on price point, accessibility, style or other variables. So it led me to check the track record of some of the brands I support and realised pretty quickly that a large number of popular brands fail to be compliant with international principles on human rights and labour. Also, how likely is it that the average consumer would research the sustainability reports of every brand they wished to engage with. But, would they care if they were spoon-fed the information? How much would they give up if it meant making lives of remote communities better? If it challenged multi-million dollar companies to clean up their value chains? Would they boycott their favourite brands if they found out the brands supported mines with child labour or had sexual harassment engrained in their offices outside of mainstream cities? How much do we as a society care about each other if it means our conveniences and could be affected?

This random bit of research highlighted to me that the principles of development are still considered a niche topic like the principles of corporate law might be — designed to be studied and resolved by people taught and trained to do so. However, this is not the case. For us to achieve the goals of the SDGs, (which are being pushed further and further away it…

Labake A.R

Corporate Responsibility Consultant | The AR Initiative