Wednesday, November 13, 2013

It's a long fall from the top of my soapbox

I started to post a "Would You Wear That Wednesday" entry today, but something is weighing heavily on me again. Thanks to my Facebook news feed, I discovered the rabbit hole that is Upworthy and all of the videos posted on it. As I was skimming through them and deciding which ones to watch, I started seeing a lot about the fashion industry, particularly about the Bangladeshi tragedy and the use of child labor, and quite honestly, it made me so mad-  at the industry,at consumers, and at myself. I made two commitments in May and July to only shop thrift stores and then to stop shopping from August until the end of this year. I haven't kept either of those commitments, and I've completely buried the anger that I felt that this "hobby" of mine is killing people. It's not just garment factory collapses, fires, etc, but it's also the pollution from the chemicals used to dye garments and the ruin of land/water in places like China. Also, people in these countries don't have hope. I can't imagine having a child who only has the option of working in a garment factory for the rest of her life and earning something crazy like $45 a month for working 6 days a week, 12 hours a day. This injustice has just been weighing on me.

I am blessed. I was blessed enough to have been born into a loving family, marry a wonderful man, and have fantastic in-laws. My husband and I aren't rich by any means, but even our worst day is probably better than some of these people's best day. (I know I'm making a huge overgeneralization here, and I can't even begin to know about their happiness levels, but this is just my perspective). I'm a Christian, and I'm trying to live my life according to biblical principles, and yet I support this industry that literally kills people. What Would Jesus Do, indeed?

I didn't mean to get on a soapbox here or go off on a complete rant, but I think that it's past time that I fully commit and dedicate myself to this cause. I want to do so many things to help balance the scale of injustice, and this is a great place to start since this is my hobby and passion (to a certain extent). I don't quite know what my next step is, but I know I need to do some restructuring and go back and see what else I said I was going to do so I can recommit myself to it. Also, I don't want to completely give up the fun aspects of this blog or quit enjoying reading other people's blogs or become a comment troll who quotes horrifying fashion industry statistics on people's blogs (the Internet equivalent of throwing paint on a fur coat...ha ha). I just want to be a more socially responsible consumer and help make a difference in these people's lives however I can.

Does anyone have any suggestions of where I can start? As a librarian, I've already done some research and have ideas about where to look for more information, but any information that people have already gathered would be really helpful!

Also, if I haven't lost you yet, thank you for reading. I may have gone a little overboard here, but I just wanted to get everything out. I'll be back Friday with more awkward pictures and references to the weekend. =)


  1. It's something that's been in the back of my mind for awhile, as well, and I have no easy answers. Only sighs. It has caused me to thrift more, and to seek out those opportunities for remixing or swapping more.

    On a lighter note, I did laugh out loud at your last line, "I'll be back Friday with more awkward pictures and references to the weekend." LOL.

    1. I don't think there are easy answers, which really plagues my "librarian, must solve all problems" attitude. If I quit shopping in stores with unethical manufacturing, am I hurting the laborers? Should I try to demand more fair labor practices? Should I just thrift? Should I shop only Made in the USA items? Argh! I do need to thrift more, and I do like the idea of hosting a swap. Maybe that could be a 2014 project (and, it might make me FINALLY finish unpacking from March!). Remixing is good, also, and I need to sit down and look at the contents of my closet and start mixing it up.

      Glad my last line added some levity to this entry! =)