Usually, when I blog, I am giving my “output”. But today, like the robot “Johnny 5” in the comedy movie, Short Circuit, I am asking my readers to please send me some “input-input”!
My dilemma started last week after I had purchased some new clothes for Fall. Later on in the day, I had watched a documentary called “The True Cost” by filmmaker Andrew Morgan. It is a rather damning commentary on the cost to both the garment industry workers and the environment due to the practices of what is being called the “fast fashion” industry.
Like “fast food”, “fast fashion” is plentiful, cheap and apparently, disposable. Wages and working conditions – especially safety – are very poor for most garment industry workers. Environmental protection policies are either poor or completely lacking.
I felt very disturbed in my soul after watching the film. I immediately went to check the labels on the new clothes I had just purchased and found out that every piece, but one, was made in Bangladesh (which was featured in the film and which showed that working conditions are terrible)!
I immediately wanted to return all the clothes to the store but first I began doing some research online to try and find where I could find clothes that were not only morally and ethically produced but also affordable. After searching unsuccessfully for a couple of hours , I gave up!
Then I started to think about everything else that we buy and I realized that almost EVERYTHING we buy is manufactured in another country where working conditions and wages are poor!
My dilemma is as follows: as a Christian, what is our responsibility when it comes to purchasing?
Personally, I can not see where it is either feasible or affordable to make sure that everything we buy is ethically and morally manufactured.
I live in a small town and when it comes to shopping for clothes, I have a very limited choice of stores. My financial situation is also a major factor in what and where I can purchase items. I have discovered that even most “expensive” clothes are made in China or some such place. Any of the clothing, on the websites that I found, that MAY be morally and ethically made, were also too expensive.
So where does that leave a Christian like me, who wants to do the right thing but who isn’t sure what, exactly, the “right thing” is and who isn’t sure she can afford to do it?
I would REALLY appreciate any comments, suggestions, advice or opinions on this subject.
Here is a link for info. about the documentary “The True Cost”.