Forward

June 8, 2013 — 4 Comments

hope

Wow, everybody.

Since I hit “publish” on last Friday’s article, it has easily become the most-viewed post I’ve written this year. That is amazing, because it shows people, you people, want to talk about this. You want to share it with your friends, you want to think about it, and you want fix it. You, like me, don’t really know how to do that yet, but you want to try.

This was, quite frankly, the first time I wrote about something that really matters on this blog, and I’m grateful for the reception to it. That said, don’t expect a huge tonal shift at We So Thrifty: For the most part, it will still be thrifting, pop-culture, and 90s nostalgia. But do expect to see some small attempts, every once and a while, to contribute to a fashion economy that saves instead of kills. I won’t drop this, and I hope you won’t either.

I left that article in an open-ended, hoping all of you would take some time to share your reactions with me. You did just that.  A few tweets, a few comments, and a few shares have already left me with more to think about, and I’m grateful for that too. I’ve compiled just a few of the great comments to that post, to give you a little to chew on as we all move forward with this. Thank you for your words, friends. Forward we go!

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…I have been reading about life in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh for quite a few years now and know it very well. I was excited to read about the backlash from the Bangladeshis in the country because no one can change a country from without, it must happen from within and without simultaneously, but primarily from within. What people endure in those countries is almost inconceivable to us, and so to act here in ways that drastically affect the clothing industry out of self-righteousness without understanding those countries in depth is irresponsible. If we can find out which companies act responsibly and choose their goods over others, we certainly can apply proper pressure. Supply and demand. That’s how it works.

– Stephanie

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…You’re right– like many people I also thought, Good thing I didn’t shop at [insert store here] this year. But not visiting a certain retailer doesn’t make me or anyone less guilty. Accidents can happen at factories any where in the world at any time regardless of the brand’s size or popularity. Real change can start with us– the consumers– because we often buy what we like, want, don’t really want, need, or really need without thinking too much about who made our product and his/her living and working conditions.

Linda

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…I have been trying to socially conscious about my shopping habits but it is hard to do. Just quickly: avoiding all overseas produced products and shopping “Made in Canada /USA” is not always the answer. Some overseas factories do produce goods in keeping with International Labor Organization (ILO) standards while there have been sweatshops busted in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary in recent years. Some companies subcontract to workers paid by the piece for basic sewing and assembly and they get much less than minimum wage.

I am trying to learn which companies to support and continuing to shop the second-hand market as well. It is worth noting however, that not all sellers on ebay or etsy, are ethical retailers, though the number of problematic ones is likely reduced compared to the norm.

– Rosee

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…This has really shaken me up, and I’m concerned that the lack of caring overall just continues to reflect our consumer culture mentality. As my pastor says, “I don’t want to be a consumer; I want to be a producer.” I’m going to take some time in the next couple of weeks and start a list of links connected with ethical shopping because I feel like people need alternatives. Yes, I shop secondhand, but there are some things (undies! socks! workout clothes!) that I would ALWAYS like to buy new, and it’s going to be more difficult to find these products from places I feel good about it instead of just popping into Target and aimlessly shopping.

– Amber

4 responses to Forward

  1. 

    Hi Julie! I wanted to comment on your previous blog when I first saw it which I just recently discovered on 6/3/13. I love your blog!! I am so glad I found by a fellow blogger of yours but I can’t even recall now who it was! Sorry!
    I just wanted to express how it opened my mind and thoughts of big blocks stores which I did not ever think to stoop and realize where clothes is being made.
    Living here in Hawaii we are learning to be more accustomed to Walmart, Target since in the past stores were mainly run by “mom and pop” stores. I just thought that buying cheap is awesome but now my mind of thought has changed. I already took a vow to TRY to shop @ Goodwill stores and Savers. I hated those stores just due to the fact that things were “used!”
    I am not rich but just had a rich girl mentality for some reason.
    Anyways, I already started my thrift store shopping on Etsy. I have only shopped for handmade and new things. Although it is not cheap to buy on Etsy I just thought it was a good start.
    Today I went to Plato’s and spent $40.00. Then went to Goodwill and spent no more than $10.00 for a skirt and a top. Leaving I felt so proud and will try to spend my weekends there instead of going to the mall.
    Thank you so much for sharing with us your creativity in writing and of course how you are so thrifty!!
    I am going to share with my family and friends your blog and hopefully one day it will change the world for the better!
    I look forward to many more from you.
    Aloha,
    Tara

    Like

    • 
      Julie Van Huizen June 13, 2013 at 8:54 am

      Tara, comments like this just make my day. Seriously. Thank you so much for sharing your successes – it inspires me too!

      Like

  2. 

    I tried to leave a comment and was informed that I have a wordpress account, so I’m not sure if my comment’s going to pop up twice, but in any case: everlane.com is amazing. Really classic and subdued styles (unfortunately? depends on who you are, I guess), prices that don’t make you dizzy, and commitment (at least, so it seems) to ethical production and full disclosure.

    Like

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