i am, however, always looking for the next step. i did not start this journal at the beginning of my journey. it has taken me years to get here… and here i am in the middle of my journey somewhere. i am just always hoping that this is not it…i want to do more. i want to see what's next.
yes, i want to stop being such a consumer…and i want to be more of a producer.
yes, i want to grow a garden…and i want to be able to eat it.
yes, i want to make my clothes…and i want them to be clothes that keep me from buying other clothes.
yes, i want to read…and i want the words to change my mind.
yes, i want to think differently…and i want to act differently.
yes, i want to boycott fast-fashion…and i want to support independent makers.
the article does offer an example that is cause for hope. brazil has been able to implement change by employing inspectors to work with companies and people to help them move in a positive direction instead of simply imposing fines and penalties. these inspectors have been allowed to initially overlook some minor infractions in order to be able to focus on solving more major problems. wow, problem solving as opposed to problem punishing, which actually makes it more difficult to work on the problem, since now there is less money available.
we know that safety regulations in the garment industry can be sidestepped, and even the best intentions can be hard to monitor and enforce. subcontracting makes it nearly impossible to know exactly where an item of clothing was actually made and under what circumstances. the article notes factories that play a certain song over a speaker to signal inspectors are incoming and to get the underage workers out the back door.
many countries are not governed by the same moral compass that even our government or big businesses are held somewhat to (i am aware of the ridiculousness of this statement and i mean it even then). when we urge wal-mart or gap to increase their social responsibility…and they comply in some way…this is at least a partial win. it does not, however, change the industry as a whole. india makes twice as much clothing for their own country as for export to the USA, at this point. countries such as china, turkey and brazil have growing middle classes of their own with growing consumer mentalities. the point is that other countries are consuming cheap clothing as well. our companies striving for some level of safety and increased wages is positive, but there are still many, many mistreated workers out there who remain unaffected by even these paltry attempts at justice.
yes, i want to have a voice…and i want to influence others.
yes, i want to influence others…and i want to see them start to act differently.
yes, i want to see others act differently…and i want to see them speaking out as well.
it can be hard to speak out on a topic that we feel might offend. it can be hard to think that we should influence someone else's choices. let's remember to be kind…it's ultimately what we're fighting for! let's remember to be sensitive. we want influence and will lose it with the wrong approach. let's think about how we can be bold in small ways. if someone comments on, my outfit, maybe i can say, "thank you! this amazing husband and wife team in LA designed it. not only was it made in LA, but even the fabric was woven in the USA. i love that i know its story!" for me, that is bold. :) i don't really like the focus to be on me too much, but i could focus on the fact that this is not about me. it's about others around the world...skilled, God-given hands and hearts that deserve a living wage for themselves and for their families. they deserve a chance to have their contributions valued. they deserve the opportunity to give their children enough to eat, an education, a childhood. they deserve my action and my prayers.
this is just a first, next step…
yes, i want to see the USA operate a fair system of production, and i want the rest of the world to do it also.
love and courage,