This idea of buying ethically — is it only available to wealthy people? The fact is engaging in the garment industry needs to go beyond being a consumer in it. We need to stop thinking of it just in terms of our consumer power, and in terms of buyers. We are also people. And our actions in terms of ethical and non-ethical are not just defined in terms of what we can buy. Because in the garment industry, as in most industries, at some point something or someone was exploited along the way. That’s the reality. What does ‘ethical’ even mean? We have companies starting to make better environmental decisions, which is wonderful, but at the same time their workers aren’t being paid enough to live on.
This goes back to offering vintage or second hand clothes as an alternative. It’s not going to fix the problem. Choosing to buy at another company doesn’t change the systems that are driving this need to produce clothes at minimum costs no matter what the consequences. And this increasing ‘cheaper is better’ mentality, led to the biggest industrial accident in history just a year and a half ago. Buying at a different company isn’t going to change all that.
But listen: your guilt is unhelpful. Sitting around feeling bad about the state of the world doesn’t change anything. You think you can’t do anything so you aren’t going to bother. That reaction is frankly bullshit. You can do something. It’s these easy ways out that allow these systems to continue to damage the environment and exploit. We need to recognize where we are in the state of the world, globalization happened, the economy is a global entity, so our buying practices matter. killer interview with the organizers behind labor behind the label over at the style con. they are organizing with workers across the world for a living wage, not a minimum one. (via arabellesicardi)