Sunday, January 15, 2017

Think before you Want

Fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world behind big oil. And fast fashion, a system that depends on low wages, low quality, and fast turnaround, in my opinion, may be the single most destructive phenomena that has hit our industrial society since conventional modern farming related pesticidal executions. This recent reality has come to light over the past 3 decades and has entirely changed our concept of consumerism. We are now purchasing clothes at a rate 5x times that of in the 1980s, with the conditioned idea that we are in perpetual need of the next "it" item each season, and now, every year, Americans alone account for sending 11 million tons of textile waste to landfills - yet, some how, through all of this, corporations such as Zara, Gap, Topshop, H&M, Forever 21, have cut costs to the lowest they've ever been able to, while simultaneously increasing their net profits to the highest they've ever been able to.

Increasing demand and decreasing point of sales prices has given buyers and distributors the upper hand, forcing manufacturers to compete against each other by dictating even more wage cost cuts, yet the universal cost of living does not stop inflating, and who are the people on the receiving end of the short stick? - the people who are making $10 a month because they were not fortunate enough to be born into a system that allowed them otherwise - and these very people are subject to employer relations that I've only seen in slave labor practices, whereby if someone attempts to form a union or ask for a minimum wage, they are beaten and confined, and they have no choice but to keep going, because who is going to pay for their child's education? who is going to pay for their housing? food? 

Additionally, sweat shop laborers in developing countries are forced to operate in dangerous buildings that have no standard code regulation, to which in many cases in the past, have resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of workers due to unexpected wall collapses and roofs concaving. 

Their government systems offer little to no civil rights protections, and in fact, often times pass decisions that work against their very own citizens, for example, by allowing Fast Fashion perpetrators a free pass to conduct practices that even their own headquarter countries would never allow - such as the right to dump toxic dye waste into the rivers that serve as the primary water supplies to hundreds of millions of people; coincidentally, these same populations have all seen paralleling rises in cancer rates, skin diseases, and mental illness among their developing children.

These crimes against humanity have increased dramatically over the past three decades, along with the profits that net out into the pockets of the convictable corporations.

If the companies themselves will not change, then it is up to us, the consumers, to force them to change. How? I have boycotted these companies for nearly a year and now you, knowing this new information, should do the same. Because now that you know, I consider it a worse disservice to morality to ignore the path to progression, than for someone who is still buried under their own mainstream ideals to do so. But now, you are no longer ignorant, and the responsibility is in your hands to push the status quo. (Sorry!)

By raising awareness, by raising the public voice, these corporations will listen. We have the power to force them to take the road of good. It is up to us to change our ideology on consumption and teach our future generations that while capitalism and the economic market may have limitless possibilities, humanity and our environment do not, and they are, unfortunately, declining at an exponential rate as a result.

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