Sunday, October 28, 2012

Things You Can Do To Save Your Family


Things You Can Do To Save The Planet Your Family


One of our original purposes of supporting artists and giving the charities was to live according to our family's conscience. For example, little children should not be making clothing as slaves, workers should not be asked to sleep upstairs in the factory every night, and workers deserve a living wage. 


But as I perused my designer labels a couple of years ago, I justified my choices by thinking that surely fashion designers were vetting their factories in China pretty well. Surely nothing I bought during my corporate career was made by a child. 

Granted, they weren’t always the greatest quality, or even my romantic style, but they were safe from the bad energy of slave labor. Surely.

As I shopped online, it amazed me how often the flowery description of a casual shirt omitted its origin. And the customer service representatives were no help at all. They could tell me the color was azure, but had no idea where the pricey pieces were made. 

I’d already begun buying bespoke garments for myself from reputable independent designers, and was planning to carry original designs in my gallery, but much of my closet was a garish nightmare of uncomfortable, ill-fitting, often ugly-yet-high-end rags from Chinese factories. Clipping the labels out of them was not helping my conscience at all. 

I felt like a sucker. I was walking around town oh-so-cute in clothes possibly made by the hands of slave labor instead of mindfully sporting less-than-current, vintage-y shirts I had bought in college. Actually, that had been one of my finest fashion qualities. I was ready to get back to some of my finest qualities. 

Not yet a crusader for fair trade (again), I began to inspect my clothing purchases with the rigor of label reading I exercised at the health food store.

When voting with our dollars, we must find middle ground that respects our values, our human brothers and sisters, and our depth of responsibility. Yeah, it really does matter what we buy. It matters how hard we work to live with a conscience—it makes it easier to live with ourselves! 

We make choices every day. We consume, we waste, we want to care... We justify our wrong choices. What can we really do to save the planet?

Buying vintage clothing is easy. I placed my China labels in a consignment shop and stashed the copious cash from their resale in more artisan-made goods now for sale in our gallery. The sale of those goods will feed the artists’ families, all while making conscientious fashionistas drool-worthy. 


And we have a teenager watching it all. So we’re really saving our family. My son has gone to school with wealthy kids from China. I want him to think of making a better world for the less wealthy ones. It’s his choice. 


But perhaps ours will set a good example. His favorite tee these days is an organic USA-made, locally tie-dyed logo tee from our gallery. At least I believe it’s his favorite. Anyway, he owns one. It’s soft, it feels good, and he knows the difference. 

I’m confident he’ll make a difference during his lifetime.