Americans are currently spending over 200 Billion dollars a year on retail merchandise (source). And every day, there are thousands of workers in sweatshops across the globe making just $1 to $2 to provide for their whole family. There are very harsh conditions in sweatshops across the globe, and many of deaths occur as a result.
Ever since I was a teenager I have bought my own clothes. I worked various jobs, and was taught at a young age the value of earning your own dollar. My style changed and evolved, but I usually frequented the same shops. I never gave much thought to buying higher quality ethically made clothing. I never really had the option to buy high quality prices since I was working my way through college, and after that, I was getting married and saving for our family. Every dollar was hard earned, but I never thought much about where that money was going when spending it on clothing…..
I always have been aware of the state of consumerism in the world, but admit that understood little about how our economy and business affected the lives of many in other countries. I started to read more about ethically made clothing and watch more documentaries. I had a growing desire to live with less, and with a better awareness of what I was supporting with my dollar. I feel a growing sense of responsibility to know the weight of each of my purchases. Believe me when I say, I was the Forever21 and H&M frequenter always on the hunt for the best bargain. In fact I just bought a really great hat that was questionably inexpensive, and am still having guilt. It’s hard to ignore the great deals, I know! It takes extra effort to actually find out where and how things are made. However, I want to really make the effort to at least be more aware of WHO is behind the inexpensive clothing. Who are the people, and what is there story?
My friend Sheila introduced me to this really mind bending series called Sweatshop. It is worth a watch and a share as it really paints the painfully true picture of how many clothing companies sell to the masses. It will leave you with lots to think about…
I thought it would be helpful to share a resource list of ethically made clothing companies. (Thank you Hanna for taking the time to email me some of these recs!)
See an updated ethically made jewelry list, and handbags and shoes coming soon!
Did I miss any? Let me know!
I think the problem across the globe is a large one, but I am convinced that there is a growing number of people who are willing to fight for the quality of the lives behind our clothing. I loved this quote shared by Johanna:
“Every time you spend money, you are casting a vote for the kind of world you want to live in.” – Anna Lappe
Thanks for always being such kind hearted readers by the way. It makes this such a good place to come and share.
P.S. If you are building a wardrobe from scratch, minimizing your closet, or supporting ethically made clothing, you can tag #consciousclosets on instagram to connect with others doing the same!