Why I stopped buying clothes

Ashleigh Lauren
Posted April 25, 2015 from United States

Comments 4

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Olivia
Apr 25, 2015
Apr 25, 2015

Dear Ashleigh,

Thank you so much for sharing your story on fair trade.

Personally, fair trade is one of my main interest on global issues. I really really appreaciate that you had an initative to not buying a cloth from sweat shop. I agree that this wont change the systematic sytem in a second. But indivual action matters and it has been proven through that when the snowball effect from indivual actions rolling, the impact could be bigger than what you think you could do.

I am from Indonesia and I totally understand the situation of your host mother in Nicargua because in Indonesia there are a lot of women who are forced to work in the sweat shop factory because they dont have an option while the demand for the cheap t-shirts and clothes in other part of the world is high. If we reduce the demand from downsteam, it will reduce the supply of cheap cloths from upstream. This will makes the women not hired to produce cheap cloths for a penny or two. However, we still need to figure out the substitute to get money for living for them.

Cheers,

Olivia

Ashleigh Lauren
Apr 28, 2015
Apr 28, 2015

Dear Olivia,

Thank you for your encouragement and for working toward fair trade practices! I'm glad there are people like you around. :) I definitely understand where you're coming from when you say we still need to find a better way for people to earn income. This is where I worry about fair trade. Yes, it sounds wonderful in theory but will it be applied practically? How can we gurantee workers don't lose their jobs altogether? Is this model sustainable?

Looking forward to hearing more about your work. 

Best wishes,

Ashleigh 

Alyssa Rust
Apr 27, 2015
Apr 27, 2015

Dear Ashleigh,

Thank you so much for sharing this story and post with us. I really enjoyed reading how your experience living aboard really caused you to create a huge change. I have to say, not buying clothes for a full year at fist does not seem like a huge thing but in fact it really makes a huge difference. I also thought your comment about buying second hand clothes was really interesting because although they are used clothes they still contribute to being a part of the issue. I always enjoy reading your blog post and your stories. Thank you and hope you continue to share.

Sincerely,  Alyssa Rust 

Ashleigh Lauren
Apr 28, 2015
Apr 28, 2015

Alyssa,

Thanks again for the encouragement and reading my stuff. Definitely appreciate it. Yes, the secondhand clothing thing took me by surprise, too. It's not something I generally think about when I'm buying clothing. This makes me want to live a more minimalistic lifestyle but at the same time I need to  buy clothing for work. I think it's finding a balance and taking small steps toward sustainability. After all, almost everything I buy is going to be somewhat tainted by slavery or unfair commerce. Things are getting better, but we still have a long way to go. 

Best,

Ashleigh