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cool green cross

ethical shoping

there's a new community called dignified_dress which says on the user info This is a community for people who are serious about what they wear and who want to share a culture (and resources) in which clothing can be an ethical choice. A choice that considers the workers who produce our clothes, the environment that sustains our production of clothes and the women (and men) who wear it.

which is all good if you can afford to buy ethical clothes, lots of people, especially in this economy can't. If people can afford these clothes then good for them but its way too easy to move into a headspace that assumes moral superiority over someone because you have the financial wherewithal to make shopping choices that the don't. if you have four kids and no job you are going to buy your clothes from George/walmart

sometimes environmental/ethical shopping feels like another form of classism, a way of denigrating poor people because they don't make the "right" choices


Agree with you. Ditto fair trade food. I'm on a tight income and often feel that the ethical option is priced out of my reach.
Too true.

Personally, I'm more worried about not being able to buy fair trade food - or local food, because it is ridiculously expensive, though. I buy most my clothes second hand anyways, and then alter them more or less if I need to. It may not be as ethical as it should be, but at least it's ecological. :)
I think there's a definite ethical aspect to buying locally second-hand. You may be supporting a consignment shop (small local business) or Goodwill (which works to create jobs). (I won't shop at the Salvation Army anymore because they have homophobic policies in place and I'm not down with that.)

As for the actual question... I do think it's a good discussion for people to be having, as long as there is also the acknowledgment that other people are going to make different choices. People can discuss ways to dress ethically on a budget all they want, but I think they just need to be sensitive about it. Not everybody has the same budget or the same options in terms of going to different stores, ordering online, waiting for an item to come in... if your kid shreds his last uniform shirt and it's Sunday night, you're gonna need to buy one right away.
Really? I never thought of it that way. I guess I always see it as awareness-raising and option-offering. If you don't know, you can't choose. If you know, then you CAN choose. I don't think choice is compelled.

For example, I went to the local fair trade clothing shop and tried on the only brand of fair-trade non-sweatshop sneakers, and they were AWFUL. So I didn't buy them. I don't feel particularly guilty about that. I'm not going to buy rubbish just because it is fair trade - that isn't what this is about, IMHO.

Not sure about the classism aspect - haven't really thought about it from that angle. Could be right though...
cool green cross

May 2010

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