There are lots of people out there of all ages who can’t understand or get on board with the idea of trying very hard to avoid buying items made in sweatshops especially in poor Third World countries.
THEY NEED THE MONEY DON’T THEY?, WE’RE HELPING THEM
Yes, they do… but does it give us the right to take advantage of them?
This is certainly a tricky issue to deal with as their country should be the ones trying to generate business in other ways so they can live without being forced into what is essentially slavery.
It’s kind of like saying we shouldn’t feel guilty in the slightest if we hear of a young runaway from an abusive home who has had to turn to the streets to turn tricks to get enough money to eat, should also be taken advantage of because “she needs the money anyway, right?”
If you start taking innocent concepts like clothes out of the equation and start really asking yourself what it is you’re saying when you blurt out things like “we’re helping them indirectly”, it may not seem so harmless after all.
Now people will throw out that China for instance has turned into a economic superpower due to its ability to provide cheap labour, so much so that China is becoming more expensive than other countries like Bangladesh or Vietnam to produce clothes.
Maybe now you can pat yourself on the back for having helped the Chinese grow, but at what cost did your help come at?
Why can’t we as consumers, ask and demand for fair wages? I am not saying everyone should be paid $20/hour, but there should be a minimum.
I DON’T HAVE THE MONEY TO BUY ETHICALLY
Then do you really need what you’re buying?
If you don’t have the money to pay for what you want, taking into account how and where the item is made, do you REALLY need another black pair of pants in that case? Or a piece of disposable fashion that will become completely irrelevant in the next month either from fashion tastes changing or that it just falls apart from shoddy workmanship?
IF YOU KNEW THEM… YOU WOULD ACT DIFFERENTLY
It’s because we’re human that we can compartmentalize those people into “nameless, faceless, ___insert country name here___”, and not think twice about it. We’re outraged when things like the factory in Bangladesh from horrid working conditions burns down and kills workers, but after a week it becomes old news because it isn’t relevant and directly affecting US.
If it was your little sister, brother, cousin, friend or someone you knew who was chained to those machines, you’d be outraged.
So why aren’t you outraged now?
I am not claiming to be perfect, nor to have any black and white answers to any of the above, but I just think as consumers it’s time we stop giving bullsh*t excuses about why we buy what we buy, without thinking about what consequences our purchases have on others and the world.
We should make an effort, no matter how small to think twice before buying yet another item we don’t need.