Diary #014 – Clothing Resolution Update part 5

Still more to come! Boy oh boy.

It’s difficult to release these pages bit by bit because, you know, it seems like I ain’t learnin’ a thing. But I do! That’s where this is going. It’s a demonstration of a little brain journey.

- Rebecca Clements


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You do realize that they are made in china because of how cheap the man power there is due to the amount of chinese people (aka high supply of workers)?
Why would they have to see money for what they produce in a capitalist enterprise?

These companies are employing huge amounts of people. Why would you boycott them? Just because some people have it better? Its not like if the companies file in bankruptcy then the workers would go “oh man, I can finally become a dentist!”.

The problem with these underpaid employees can easily be solved by the companies that employ them, if they would be willind to cut at least the littlest bit in their own profits or perhaps in ginormous paychecks the managers receive. I don’t know the exact numbers, but I think that a raise of 10 dollars a day would at least double these people’s salary and make a huge difference in their standard of living. And with that money, they will indeed not become dentists, but maybe they’ll be able to put their kids through school and in that way, little by little they’ll crawl their way out of the vicious circle of poverty.

You could counter argue that 10 dollars a day for thousands of people will be huge cost, but that cost is really dwarfed by the profits these companies turn and perhaps even by the paychecks of some of these managers.

Wow. Glad I read the comments. It’s sad and frustrating to see people go through this. On the one hand, what they’re doing really is great for the world. On the other, it can get brutal on the person themselves if they take it too far or try to avoid doing the “wrong” thing for something they have little to no choice about.

So I can never know which way think about it. Good for them for getting through the pain for the better of all, bad for them to try desperately to get that sense of self-satisfaction which ends in pain if they can’t?

Plus, there’s also the things they might be doing that affects others around them as well as themselves, kinda pushing people into a lifestyle they may not like…

Saving the world is hard.

If you want to go into detail, the sustainability of those stocking was probably undermined by the power you used on your laptop/PC to browse the internet and find them :)

@Jackson – This is true, at least she didn’t get them sent from the UK, that would’ve totally defeated the purpose, “sustainable” or not.

Good on you Rebecca at least you don’t have to freeze. Idealism is one thing but the first thing is being comfortable with your self.

Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again.

Hi Rebecca. I think the important thing is trying to improve yourself on every step. And not to judge yourself whenever you fail. Thinking about every decision you make, every step you take is an important meditation in indian culture. Whenever you smoke a cigarette, go out with friends, buy something, turn on the tv, think about it, do a sustainable choice if you can and pass on. Don’t get stuck with it. Maybe tomorrow you’ll meet a local artist who creates locally produced stockings from sustainable wool, will you burn your chinese stockings then? Our aim should not be saving the world, what an arrogant idea is that. My aim and my wish for everyone is to get more conscious everyday. To think about where things come from, how much people are getting paid for producing it, where they go when we throw them away and how the environment gets effected from our choice.

If we get back to material facts, I can give you a hint with shoes and bags http://www.simpleshoes.com/ – I think deckers is an australian company. Another hint is for cosmetics and bathing products, Lush is an UK company but I think they are the most sustainable international company for cosmetics. I don’t know what can you do about stockings (I imagine they’ll get holes in near future) but you can get handmade leg warmers from a local artist through etsy. e.g. http://www.etsy.com/shop/melpdesigns

You should consider the personal/emotional energy spent on something like this compared to the benefit provided. Agonizing over something like this, noble as it is, can burn out a person who might otherwise go on to have a greater impact elsewhere. Like an impact in mobilising dozens or hundreds of people to change the overall production methods of a company.

How to do something like that is not by campaigning or changing the way we spend $8 here or there on a small purchase, but by finding (or being) a competent, professional engineer etc who would then submit plans or offer to work with/for the company at a discounted rate to improve energy efficiency etc of the factory. Think of what a huge impact THAT would make!

Get a dozen people to take the sort of emotional energy spent over something like stockings, and vesting it instead in something like that described above, and I think this is a more productive method.

I guess I just don’t see the longterm point of such a struggle.

This happens to me all the time.

When I was a kid, I used to boycott things. I used to try really hard to get people behind it too. I boycotted chocolate because of the unfair pay for the cocoa farmers. I boycotted Australian-grown rice on the basis that it was ruining our environment. I boycotted Nike because they used sweatshop labour to produce their shoes.

And what annoyed me and defeated me every time was that nobody else ever got behind it. Nobody seemed to get it that if a company’s sales dropped by even a quarter, they would notice. And they’d want to know why. And then they’d discover that consumers don’t lik sweatshop labour. And then, hopefully, the problem would be fixed.

Now I’ve called it quits with boycotts and I just buy sustainable and ethically-produced where I can. (And y’know what? It’s better quality too! Just goes to show what decent wages and a good boss can do.)

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