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In Defense of The "Un-Ethical" Shopper

In Defense of The "Un-Ethical" Shopper

The thing about privilege is if you have it, you can't see it. When one shares a post that says things like FRIENDS DON'T LET FRIENDS BUY FROM KMART, someone who goes to Kmart because they have to, cries inside. They might have little-to-no money for their needs, large families, be time-poor, and they might be a larger size. They also might care about the environment and labour standards, and be home composters and public transport riders.

Fashion, just like capitalism, has traditionally un-favoured and pushed away the poor and unconventional "beauty standards" (bleurgh). Elitism looks polished and "desirable" (bleurgh).

But not too long ago, we came from families with the knowledge and time to be home-sewers and menders, and had cobblers and hat makers in our community. People without money, who were time poor, or who needed extended sizing could make (and repair) their own clothes. Now, because of the capitalist market, local industry is gone, and skills like sewing and mending are now a very-special-skill. No wonder there is no market for those that fashion and media has traditionally pushed out other than large chain stores.

One could easily argue here, what about op-shopping? Take this from an actual professional-opshopper (lol) - you need time to do this well; To find the right size (there's truly no variety for extended sizing), and the right price (op-shops are becoming increasingly price-y). Forget about it if you're buying for a large family.

If large, cheap chain stores could only take responsibility for themselves, then this wouldn't be an issue. They could look after their garment workers with a healthy living wage and working conditions (they don't), and produce quality goods that don't break easily to keep the environmental cost down (they won't).

We need to remove the responsibility out of the consumers hands and realise we are born in to a problematic, unsustainable life of consumerism, of which we have no control over.

If you have privilege like money or influence, use it to advocate for change, but let's be aware of what the real problem is here, and along the way be wary for our friends who don't get the same luxury.

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OLI - April 25, 2020

Love this!

Christine Belchambers - April 25, 2020

We all buy for different reasons but when it comes down to it it’s really about trying to feel “right” in so many ways. I’ve bought and bought since my husband died and it just makes me feel guilty.
This article is really well written and I am going to take a firm grip on myself lol and start giving instead of mindless consumerism.

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