Why try?

I'm hitting the age where it's way too easy to kind of forget about the things you want to change in the world, and instead spend most of your energy just trying to keep things together: pay bills, buy nice clothes, rent movies so you don't get bored and sad at night, keep yourself and your belongings insured, think about buying a house, get new tires on the car, clean the house, cook good meals, maybe get a better paying job...

it's all crap. At least that's what I would have said 4 years ago when I was still in college.

The truth is, it's not ALL crap, and the only reason I got to spend my time being idealistic and thinking up ways to change the world as a college kid is because someone else (...my parents) were doing all that other stuff for me at the time. But another truth is if that's your whole reality, your soul is going to pretty much shrivel up into a raisin and you'll find yourself stuck in a life that you as a child would have run from screaming.

That said, I've spent a lot of time lately trying to get back in touch with realities that expand way outside the borders of my own everyday encounters with the world. There are things happening that, if I only saw them with my own eyes, I would pretty much stop dead in my tracks and try to do something about them. Some of these are things we already know about- poverty, famine, war, landfills, homelessness, pollution... you're not even listening any more, are you? It's hard to hear about all this kind of thing because it's so hard to know what to do about it that it's almost self-preservation in a way to just stop hearing. And honestly, a lot of these issues are so complicated that any effort to help often ends up fueling the problem even more. But sometimes there are really clear things we CAN do in the world, and the first step is to look things in the eye.

That is my primary reason for starting this blog- to give you some things to look in the eye, and to document what it's like to try to go against the flow. There are so many weird things that happen in the fashion industry that I am not at all ok with, but the closer I look at the options, the harder it is to say what is "right". For instance, which is better: fair trade or domestically made? Inexpensive or high quality?

For now, I am trying to at least offer an alternative to the mainstream options of cheap, imported clothing made in poorer countries designed to fit the latest trends and be dumped off at Goodwill by next season. For starters, fair wages should be payed to whoever makes the clothing, and we should not take advantage of countries with weaker economies to provide cheap labour for everything. Clothing should be made well to last, so that people are able to spend more on a single item and get years of use from it. And definitely the materials used to make clothing should be sustainable- right now the non-organic cotton industry is a nightmare. As a designer, business owner and a consumer, it is my responsibility to keep my eyes open and realize the importance of the choices I make.


Kristie Koll said...

I am glad you are sharing your voice. And the work you do has lasting effects in my life and others. Keep at it, I am hopeful for change.

kelleyjordan said...