Saturday, August 13

lookin' sharp, and being sharp, too

I'm just going to cut straight to the point here.  About a year ago, I quit Wal-Mart cold-turkey. Honestly, I've always been more of a Target girl, so this wasn't too heart-breaking a sacrifice for me.  But ever since E told me all about the horrifying documentary she watched (the trailer can be viewed here) about the unjust and corrupt industry, I knew I could no longer support them.  To be even more honest, I began to have my doubts about some other stores, but held my tongue because, hey - who wants to give up cheap-prices and convenience? And E was having her doubts too, but also never said anything. Until a couple weeks ago. 

"I'm not shopping at Target anymore," she said. Me, "Ok." Me, internally, "Oh man, now that it's been spoken aloud, I should probably face my convictions too. Damn." Because, you know, I really liked Target a lot. They have great clothes for low prices. Their sun dresses? Superb. And their tank tops, those long and lean ones, are the BOMB. I bought my favorite swimsuit/only swimsuit I've ever liked from there this summer.  And they have those movies that are sometimes $5 dollars, and that's awesome, because hecks-no am I paying $20 for "Mrs. Doubtfire." 

But at some point, one has to wonder: if we are not paying high prices, who is? At what cost are we living conveniently? 

Funny that all these thoughts were beginning to stir, because this afternoon I stumbled across this article: 

"Walmart, Target, Hanes, Macy’s Linked to Jordan “Rape Factory”

Please take a moment to read this article. It is not long, and describes everything a lot better than I could. I'll give you a moment here. 

Ok, did you read it? Yeah, good? Alright. Let's continue then.

Based on the Wal-Mart documentary and logic, I'm going to go ahead and assume that there are likely a plethora of social justice issues in these corporations, but even if that were not the case, is this not enough to show that there are some serious problems happening behind the scenes of the businesses we have come to rely on, trust, and support?! The exploitation and mal-treatment of these women, these human beings, are a part of what we have come to see as cheap deals and convenience in our busy lives.  We, the consumers, have the choice as to where we spend our money.  We are a free people and we have the means to dig, research, and advocate for those with no voice. 

I know that this is only one article.  I know I don't have the full picture.  I intend on digging further into this issue. And I am preparing myself to discover the same findings beneath other businesses that I regularly shop at and love and will probably have to let go of.  I know that this may make my life more "inconvenient." I realize that I am probably going to spend extra money for food, clothes, and necessities.  But I would much rather pay this price than that one. 

This article was found on the the eco-friendly, sustainable living website called ecouterre

"In a society obsessed with instant gratification, novelty, and conspicuous consumption, it’s easy to dismiss fashion design as frivolous. Skirt lengths and platform heights appear inconsequential when juxtaposed with real-world concerns like climate change, economic strife, water shortages, and hunger and malnutrition. But if you consider the fact that clothing is something we envelope our bodies in every single day, to ignore the apparel industry’s environmental and social impact would be negligent, not to mention foolhardy." (via)

This website is primarily a fashion site that is dedicated to featuring and supporting designers who are devoted to creating fashion which is friendly to the environment and people. Because even setting social justice concerns aside, we have our own personal health and well-being to keep in mind. Some facts found on the site's Mission page

-$2 billion of hazardous pesticides are used every year to grow cotton - more than any other agricultural crop 
-clothing uses more water than any other industry besides agriculture
-Conventional cotton, which is grown in more than 70 countries and comprises almost 50 percent of textiles worldwide, also   happens to be the most toxic crop in the world.
-it takes about a third of a pound of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides to grow enough cotton for a T-shirt

I just added this website under my "love" tab at the top of my blog, and will probably be spending my evening drooling over the rest of the site.  Seriously, check it out. Even if you don't care about the sustainability part, and are just a fashion nut - this site is awesome. 

If any of you have other interesting articles/websites to share, please do! I am always looking to expand my knowledge, and would love to learn from any and all who are more studied in this topic. 

In the mean time, I highly encourage you, dear readers, to do some researching of your own and be conscious about where you spend your well-earned pennies! Obviously, this needs to be a conviction of your own, and not about me telling you what to do, what to buy, where NOT to buy, and so on.  BUT. But, I still feel obliged to share what I know, what I've learned, and what is on my heart.  


  1. Whoa. Girl. This is fantastic. Thank you for sharing. I will have to think a lot about my shopping habits.

  2. Great post, Kalie!

    It's disgusting how much love for greed these corporations have, where their actions lead to getting supplies from sweatshops or to the mis-treatment of employees. I've always known that there was always secrets behind these companies, but it's great that you are sharing this to everyone.


if you want to, you can say a little hello here. i wouldn't mind it at all.


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