|Protesters in the UK city of Bristol and, on the left, a rather stylish person representing fashion|
In a search to learn more about what the protesters' actual demands are, I read the 9 points put forward in the initial statement of Occupy London, (you can find the full list here) and one in particular stood out to me:
"7.We want structural change towards authentic global equality. The world’s resources must go towards caring for people and the planet, not the military, corporate profits or the rich."
Now, I love fashion. Some people think of it in a snobby way, calling those involved with it superficial and stupid. This is obviously just a severe case of small-mindedness and lack of appreciation for beauty. However, this statement resonates with me and forces me to consider the fashion and retail businesses as they stand today. Can they really be using the world's resources to help people? Perhaps some people, like Mrs Moneybags who spends each Saturday afternoon perusing Harrods for a new designer dress. But she isn't alone - we in the West reap the benefits everyday of cheap clothing manufacturing costs overseas. And how do you think they get those production costs so low? It certainly isn't by giving each employee a six-figure bonus at the end of the tax year like the banks which Occupy seem so keen to put in their place. It's not even by giving them a fair wage and reasonable working hours. Exploitation is rife in the developing world, and the bigwigs at the helm of value high-street stores right up to Designer houses and their daddy companies.
By no means am I trying to attack the creatives who design the clothes I love, and in turn the shops which turn them into cheaper imitations which I can actually afford. Neither do I want to undermine those sitting outside St Paul's, or in Wall Street, or wherever else in the world they choose to occupy, in fact I admire their expression of free speech and hope that they at least make an impression on some politicians who could really do with listening. I would just like to suggest that, instead of demanding a long list of things which will take years to implement, we as fashion consumers make a positive decision next time we buy an item of clothing. Check up on the seller's human rights policy, see if that website knows exactly where its products and ask someone, even if it's Google, whether the woman who made your dress earned even a fraction of what it cost you for her hard work.
But please, never EVER stop enjoying fashion.
|from Chanel News|