Tuesday, 11 December 2012
Ethical shopping, like shopping of any description, tends to leave me a bit cold. Exchanging my civil rights for consumer rights interests me about as much as does exchanging unwanted Xmas gifts at M&S during the January sales. There is no doubting that consumer boycotts can put pressure on companies but the slack will be taken up somewhere else. Having said that, I am finding boycotting Starbucks pretty much of a doddle - as far as I can remember I have only stepped inside one of their establishments once and it's not an experience I'm in a hurry to repeat. A nice cup of tea leaning against that shelf in the Brick Lane begel shop is more my style or better still a visit to one of London's remaining proper cafes. Have you ever been to the River Cafe? No not the poncy one so beloved of the chattering classes but the proper one opposite Putney Bridge Station. Proper cafe, proper grub, proper Italian family been running it for years. To step inside just once is to see Starbucks for what it is and, if that's your bag, they probably pay more tax as well. It helps if you are a Fulham supporter but is not essential.