Monday, April 19, 2010

hopey, changey stuff:

There are so many great blogs out there about being eco and ethical and green, and I've started reading them, like really reading them-- not just looking at the pictures! And the lovely thing about the internet is that whilst a suprising amount of people in my day to day life are quite resistant to change, it turns out that lots of people around the world are thinking the same things I'm thinking... and that's that something has to give... we can't keep living this way...

Aside from the whole sustainability problem, the carbon footprints, and all the environmental arguments for consuming less, the basic human decency argument has to be enacted too... unfortunately, my high standard of living is paid for with the poverty of the third world... if we're not ripping the guts out of resources in Africa, we're getting super cheap labor in Asia... and I'm over here, living like a queen in comparative terms, I have running water, a telephone, and a 2 bedroom flat! It seems meagre compared to what a lot of other people I know have, but it is massive compared to what most human beings around the world have.

I'm certainly not perfect, or above judgment, I have coke in my fridge, I have reeboks in my wardrobe, and most of the stuff in my house was probably made in a sweat-shop, even if I obtained a lot of it from the op-shop, but anyhoo, I'm going to try and be better at this whole thing, and marry my ideological commitments with my everyday life.

HOPE - India

A couple of weeks ago, I signed up for this pledge at Isis' blog, and I'm really digging it. Already I've noticed how those cute, cheap clothes I see everywhere are just off limits, they might be cheap, and cute, but they are not worth having. I should also confess that I've been watching an this doco on ABC2 each week, and it's bringing the reality of sweat-shop life a little too close to home, this and reading No Logo by Naomi Klein, are all making for a pretty heady mix of anti-consumption-for-consumption's-sake sentiment around here...

This is the pledge, as copied from Isis' blog:


E T H I C A L  C L O T H I N G  P L E D G E

I pledge to only wear clothing that is one or more of the following:
1. Pre-loved
2. Handmade (preferably by me)
3. Reconstructed
4. Made with ethical / environmentally friendly materials
5. Made by a company with strong ethical policy & workers' rights

* Companies with environmentally friendly practices (such as cutting down on waste/energy/water) get brownie points
* If I get one little inkling of sweatshop labour, I'm outta there!
* Above all though, I think the most important thing is reducing the amount of things we use in the first place. Not purchasing ANOTHER piece of clothing just for the sake of it is the biggest statement we can make.


This all leaves me in a bit of a pickle about where some of my doll fabric comes from, whilst the majority is made in Japan and the US, and a lot is second-hand... I do buy the occasional Spotlight fabric for half the price of my other fabrics, and it does clearly read 'made in India' on the roll... I'd love feedback, suggestions!!


P.S. picture via here.

P.P.S. my title is poking fun at Sarah Palin, not Obama!


Virginia said...

I'm actually working on similar things for fabric and clothing in my (and my family's) life. We're starting with the attempt not to buy things that were made in China. Which is as hard as trying not to eat HFCS was a few years ago.
Anyway, I'm looking to make a lot of the family's clothing this year, and we're trying to buy handmade.
Same for food. Locally sourced. Only eating meat if we know EXACTLY where it came from.

Selina said...

In my opinion buying things second hand is helping. It is one less sweat shop shirt (for example) that needs to be made AND the money goes to the needy, as well as the fact that it hasn't just been thrown out.
If you HAVE to buy something new then absolutely go the hand-made/non sweat shop versions! ;)