I've been doing a lot of thinking and reading since my last post. Friends, it does not look good. But since I have to eat and clothe myself, I am trying to find ways to do so in the most earth and people friendly way possible. Sound corny, naive and overly-optimistic? That's me:) In a nutshell.
I was looking for info on sweatshops and tried looking for some anti-sweatshop groups on Facebook. I was shocked to tears when I found a PRO-Sweatshop group!!??!! I understand being uninformed and even apathetic, but to be downright purposefully ignorant...I was horrified. Here is the description of their group:
"to provide basements for people to work to make us clothing, don't ban somthing that gives us cheap shit"
Now I am trying to keep in mind that this group seems to be made up of mostly highschool boys, but still! FOR SHAME!
I can't pretend to be well read or knowledgable about sweatshops and fair-trade and all of this that I am delving into, but I do have some thoughts on the issues. A big argument that I read a lot is that sweatshops give poor people jobs who otherwise would be on the streets. Sure, BUT (HUGE, GIGANTIC "but" here) when these rich companies (such as Nestle, Gap, and Wal-mart) can easily afford to give their 3rd World Country employees fair wages in a clean, safe working environment and choose NOT to, that is where I cast blame.
There are some good websites out there with helpful info. Co-op America has a lot of good info, I like their list of 10 Things to Never Buy Again This sight also has information on several companies and how good or (usually) bad they are.
So I've come to a few decisions after mulling this all around this past month. They are:
1.) Continue to buy stuff at Thrift Stores. The companies that made the clothing/shoes are no longer benefitting from my purchase when I buy them second hand. (Unless I buy something with the brand splayed across my chest/bum - which I won't:)
2.) Boycott all the big brand names and companies that I possibly can. I think that sadly most of the big brand names out their have gotten that way because profit is what counts, not people or the environment.
3.) Support the smaller, green-friendly, sweatshop free companies that are out there. If anyone has suggestions of brands/products/companies you know that are good, please let me know. For starters I know that American Apparel is sweatshop free and Ten Thousand Villages has all fair-trade products.
Okay I really need to wrap up this rant and go to bed. It's way past this Mama's bedtime.
I will leave you with this tidbit I read on the Co-Op America site:
"Styrofoam is forever"
Feliz Noche a todos:)