Fair Trade Clothes

Photo by Lewis Hine
What are you wearing today? I'm sure you carefully picked out pants, shirt, sweater, shoes, etc because of the way they looked and how you feel when you wear them. But, did you think about who made you those clothes and where they came from? Probably not. I'm guilty too, those $5.99 t-shirts on the shelf at Target are SO tempting! Oooh, a new color that I love and it's so cheap!

But, as Aimee Friedrichsen of the blog "Someone's Gotta Pay" points out, we have cheap things in this country because someone else in another country worked long hours for little pay. Something to think about. My challenge to you is this, the next time you go to the store, ask yourself some simple questions before you throw that t-shirt in your cart:

•Do I REALLY need it? (this should be the first question you ask)
•Where was it made? (look at the tag)
•Could I get this second hand? (not underwear of course)
•Is there an alternative to this item that is made in the USA or by ethical Fair Trade means? (may take a little research)

Maybe by the time you are done asking yourself these questions you will:
A) be so confused and exhausted that you will just skip the t-shirt
B) decide you really don't need it
C) hate me because you don't have a new t-shirt
D) hear your wallet and conscious singing "Halleluia"
E) all of the above

Ever since I started thinking about this, I have been on a mission to "wear what is already in my closet." Just yesterday I put on a shirt that has been hanging around for a while. Guess what? I really enjoyed wearing it! I spruced it up with some bling and was off to class. Sure, it is fun to buy things once in a while, but most of us have WAY more clothes than we need or even wear.

Give away what you don't need/wear to a worthy organization. It will make you feel good that someone else is getting use out of it!

All this being said, I posted about the IOU Project before. It is so great that you can buy clothes (and now SHOES!) and know EXACTLY who made them and where they are from. So cool. If you hop on over to Aimee's blog she is giving away an IOU scarf. Yay! I love the one I ordered (├╝ber versatile) and now you can have one too! Enter HERE. Maybe you can spruce up what you already have with the scarf and be on your way! Teresa


SuZ Stuff said...

very thoughtful blog entry GBL...
it's not just our clothes but most of what American consumes! so much of what we buy "cheap" is at the expense of either or both our Mother Earth or our brothers & sisters in countries less priveleged...I was horrified when I found out how poluting the making of DENIM is...an american icon...(no longer made in USA) & denim lasts forever really--we sure don't need to be buying new jeans every year---and the thrift shops are full of perfectly good denims if you do feel the need to buy them...

Green Bag Lady Teresa said...

SuZ--yes, there is so much of this out there. When you start finding out about it, it really makes you not want to buy anything! That is certainly great for the checkbook! :)

harmony said...

Hi Green Bag Lady,
I believe in using our wallets to vote for the things and behavior we want to encourage in the world. That starts with being aware and ends with each decision we make. Thanks for helping make us more thoughtful. I don't want to support exploitation of people or the planet!

Green Bag Lady Teresa said...

Thanks for the kind words Harmony. :)