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Thread: sweatshops.(note: my story doesn't have a happy ending, just an honest one.)

  1. #1

    sweatshops.(note: my story doesn't have a happy ending, just an honest one.)

    how do you feel about this issue? i first started reading up a little bit about it a few months ago, and i was disappointed too find out that most of the stores i shop from were all under scrutiny for using sweatshop labor too make there cloths. for a while, i tried too look online for affordable sweat free clothing, but i couldn't really find any. after a while i just gave up. hell ,what could i do? im an unemployed broke as hell 18 year old with a mother who works at home depot. i can't afford too pay 30 $ for a t shirt. this made me feel pretty shitty for a while, like i was some kind of walking contradiction. iv always felt so strongly about animal rights, but here i am supporting a company that doesn't treat people like human beings.
    but then i realized, pretty much everything most people own or eat is some how violating human rights. hell, even apple and Microsoft were accused of using sweat shop labor. so this issue inst just limited too clothing, it's a whole fucked up system. these days i don't really think too much of it. i emotionally stressed myself out enough trying too find companies that were completely cruelty free. i don't really want too do it again. the world is a terrible place, and there's only so much some of us can do. we aren't prefect. i think the best thing too do is just do what you can. if you can afford sweat free clothing, go for it. but if you cant, you just cant. if i ever get enough money in the future, i probably will try too go sweat free,but until then, i,ll stick with the conventional stuff. im sorry if i sound cold and uncaring, im just being brutally honest. what are your opions about this issue? do you try to buy ethnically sourced clothing?
    ''UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it's not.''

    - Dr seuss's the lorax, 1971

  2. #2
    half a block from Normal Emiloid's Avatar
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    I try to, but not in the really committed way that many people do. There are actually a number of old threads here that might have good suggestions for sweatshop-free clothes. I'll try to dig some up in a bit.

    The best way I avoid supporting sweat shops is by buying almost entirely second-hand clothing. You won't usually find the latest fashions or anything, but there are some really great items to find. You can alter things, too, and make them cool in your own way. The other great thing about second-hand is that everything is WAY cheaper than almost any new clothes. Depending on where you live, you might even be able to find a second-hand store that sells pretty modern, fashionable, or at least cool/retro clothes that they hand-select. The prices are usually higher than those at thrift stores, but still way lower than new. Of course, thrift stores are also nice because they usually support charitable causes.

    Also, the less often you have to buy anything, the better--in terms of the environmental impact and support of sweatshop labor. Keep your stuff in good condition, repair items that need it, and buy high-quality (and non-trendy) clothes... and you can wear them for several years (or decades). Even if you spend a bit more to buy higher-quality, sweatshop-free items, you save in the long run.

    I hope that helps. It's sort of a way around the sweatshop issue. The good thing about buying new sweatshop-free stuff is that you are actively supporting something good. But at least if you don't buy new sweatshop-made stuff you aren't supporting sweatshop labor.
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  3. #3
    half a block from Normal Emiloid's Avatar
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    OK, I searched "sweatshop" and came up with several old threads. Rather than post them, I'll let you search. I'm not trying to be a butt, it's just that some of the threads have different topics (undies, jeans, coats, socks, etc.), so you can look at the threads you're interested in. That is, if you want to read about how other people deal with the sweatshop issue, and see which manufacturers/sellers they recommend.

    I also had to laugh at myself. Looks like I've recommended thrift stores about a bazillion times... like every time it comes up. It's like I have some kind of obsession with them. Well, at least I'm consistent!
    Last edited by Emiloid; 09-17-2011 at 08:19 PM. Reason: removed pointless links
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    Out walkin' Dugan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emiloid View Post
    I also had to laugh at myself. Looks like I've recommended thrift stores about a bazillion times... like every time it comes up. It's like I have some kind of obsession with them. Well, at least I'm consistent!
    A worthy obsession, since avoiding the waste of newly manufactured use-and-dispose products can also help to minimize impact in other areas.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Dugan View Post
    A worthy obsession, since avoiding the waste of newly manufactured use-and-dispose products can also help to minimize impact in other areas.
    I second that. It works for lots of other things, too. Pretty much all of my kitchen stuff, furniture and assorted fun things (as well as clothing) have come from thrift stores. And I've found plenty of brand names stuff at low-end thrift stores. Sometimes they don't know what they have. For example I've found two $300+ dresses for under 5$. Way cheaper than shopping at Walmart at Target and you can find better stuff.

    Also, try Freecycle if you have one near you. We've gotten everything from desks to baby gates from Freecycle.

  6. #6
    Plant-Based Person Lentil's Avatar
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    This is certainly not an easy issue. My one attempt at buying "fair trade" clothing left me with a $75 sweater that lasted for only about 5 wears. I prefer to buy from places that at least have some statement about social responsibility, but sometimes budget and convenience win. I like thrift stores and I sew some of my own clothes, so that helps. I do feel like I could do more to support human rights.

  7. #7
    Protist-Based Person The.Protist's Avatar
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    I may be an outlier, but I think things aren't so bad as people think in 3rd world factories. sure it's tough, but it doesn't seem that much worse than a few jobs i've had. I think many people who react strongly to this have never worked in a factory, or even fast food. Plus I see a lot of mileage coming from their low wages, with no mention of what a living wage would be in whatever part of the world they're talking about. I toured a paper factory in India that made crap for Target and other stores, and it didn't seem that bad at all. What i'm saying is that i think the sweatshops are more the deviation than the norm. I'm not basing that on much, but it's an opinion.
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    "Love is like seaweed; even if you have pushed it away, you will not prevent it from coming back." --Nigerian Proverb

  8. #8
    half a block from Normal Emiloid's Avatar
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    I understand your point, The_Protist. However, I don't think most people are trying to avoid all products made in overseas factories. It's really the sweatshops that most people want to avoid. Low wages and hard work do not make a factory a sweatshop, especially if the wages are on-par for that country.
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  9. #9
    Catwoman! sandra's Avatar
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    I think this extends beyond the obvious 'sweat shop' scenario. In this world wide economic decline a lot of people are working in less than ideal conditions out of necessity. My son is a qualified teacher but can't get a teaching job so instead works long hours in an electrical goods outlet.
    It is a sad sign of our times I'm afraid.
    Last edited by sandra; 10-01-2011 at 09:56 AM.

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