Friday, April 25, 2008

Throwaway society

This was my gripe of the day.

I came across this comment: A world of hemp lingerie? No thanks (Timesonline, 21st April 2008) and felt outraged that the writer implied that it is not worth sewing a button back on an item of clothing, or that doing so (sew) is akin to slave labour.

If Melanie Reid wants to know what slave labour really is, I would suggest that she reads Made in China: Women Factory Workers in a Global Workplace by Pun Ngai.

Pun (pronounced 'Poon') and I crossed paths while doing our PhDs in London. I read some of her original writing for our thesis-writing workshops. Let us just say that after reading her harrowing ethnographic accounts of what these dagongmei (girls who leave their villages to work in the cities for a few years to earn as much money as they can) go through in their factories and dormitories, I could not sleep that night.

I think I became sensitized to the possible abuse involved in anything 'Made in China' after that.

I don't know much about the green credentials of this company. But it is refreshing to learn that there are still shoe retailers that advocate a 'care and repair' ethos rather than 'buy them cheap today and throw them away tomorrow' mentality.

Back to Organic-Ally.

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