Sep 7, 2015

The clothes make the gazelle

My husband and I watched this piece a few days ago. In it, you may learn information that you have never heard before. Or, like me, it's possible you know this, and you think about it from time to time, and you may even purchase $300 US made jeans on occasion which makes you feel less awful about the whole thing and your contribution to it.

And you still go to a big box store sometimes and find yourself at the clearance rack, or underwear aisle, or stocking up on cheap-but-appropriate clothes for your office job.

So watch this. Remember what those seemingly benign little purchases are supporting. And consider what part you want to play in it.

Brian and I were hit pretty hard by the episode above. Hard enough that we have committed to making a conscious effort to purchase only used clothing for the foreseeable future. Used clothing does not support any manufacturing industry, and usually will support a small business or a nonprofit creating jobs in your community for unskilled workers.

I expect this system will be a little cheaper even than purchasing off those dang clearance racks, and so we are also committing to purchasing new socks and underwear (and any other textiles that we are not comfortable buying used) at a higher price but from a union-made, hand-made, or at the very least a US-made source. I expect that our overall clothing budget will remain the same (mostly because it is already a fairly small expense for us - we really only buy clothes when we actually need them since neither of us love the shopping experience).

The message of this episode is really the core of the green gazelle philosophy: my frugal lifestyle should not be made possible by the suffering of others in this world. This is something I have to remind myself of almost daily - that suffering is hidden well.

What lifestyle changes have you considered based on information you discovered about their social or environmental implications?

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