Surfing the web, I read this article by Garance Dorè, about the recent dramatic facts of Bangladesh.
All of us are aware of what happened, of the risky conditions in which operate the workers of those factories producing low cost fashion in the Far East, and surely this cannot leave us indifferent. We all need to have our own point of view which, above all, has to be fed with the most impartial information possible. Garance Dorè does not take a position, but she asks to share our own thoughts.
First of all she puts us in front of three articles by three famous international papers, here they are:
And what do they say? Their exposures are elementary, emptied of depth and lacking in foresight. These journalists’ thesis limit to promote an action of protection by the multinationals in order to avoid these tragedies from happening, forcing their suppliers to adopt certain parameters of work safety which also apply in our own countries and threatening to go elsewhere whether this should not happen. A solution rising from those who actually made the situation happen, having a reductionist vision and therefore only apparently a solution. Let’s analyze why we should not misunderstand the meaning of helping with colonizing:
- delocalizing damages the country of the company deciding to do so, and the planet, as the company exports work from its own land and determines limitless traffic of goods, also unsustainable from an environment point of view;
- determining the growth of the economical wealth of the Far East, subordinated to productions of other countries, will determine a fake growth, which will make them more and more slave of a different economy, which will never answer to their real needs. Helping these peoples does not mean to make them dependent to our wishes, but it actually means to support them in setting projects allowing them to be independent for what concerns their needs satisfaction;
- avoiding delocalization does not only mean making fashion respecting the others and the environment, but it also means making fashion respecting fashion. Producing big quantities and obtaining small product prices, means that there has not been respect for quality and, if it is not the case of the product, it is surely about the life of the person who made it. This price, which is too low, is an unfair price, stolen, transforming the value of that specific object into a fake. The price which is too low, unreal, allows limitless series productions, rubbish products, and induces the consumer to the easy and disposable purchase, making the same consumer to putting together his wardrobe clothes with no discipline at all, with no useful style as a result.
- the safety agreement signature is a guarantee only in appearance, as the same suppliers on their hand, are supported by other suppliers, of which the brands do not even know about;
- a true work discipline, whether well managed, will make the prices go up to the point where delocalization is no longer an advantage with the high prices of transportation.Then, to help does not mean to colonize and the goodism coming from a hypocrite behavior is always quite disgusting to the spectator. This is why fashion these days has lost its appeal.
There is a solution, and it is in the individual behavior, the consumer needs to change. The lords of fashion will never change their systems, they will only proceed with their illusionary palliative, until the market demands different consumption models, made by the consumers who will act differently. Now you probably wonder which ones, here are a few suggestions:
- get informed. Which means proceed with a smart shopping, which indeed is driven by instinct, but also guided by reason. When you will find something that makes you crazy, just breath slowly, count to ten and make yourself the following question “do I know enough about this brand/manufacturer?” If the answer is “I don’t know”, do not proceed with the purchase and, meanwhile, get on the computer and look for information and, if you don’t find anything, just ask me.
- Avoid wrong thoughts, for example: I just buy it, it is so cheap that, even if I don’t use it, it won’t be a big deal.
Starting instead to think properly, it means that you will not pay 10 euros for that product, as you know that that fake price also contains:
- awful working conditions that you, yourself, would never accept in the first place;
- a wrong economy that will send back to you as a boomerang, the money you think you saved in the shape of another debit, which also means that you will have learnt that it is more important to live respecting everything that surrounds you rather than respecting the last trendy detail.
Therefore, dear Garance, take this position and help us reach the change and become a Riot Consumer yourself!
Happy to give you,