The title of this blog post might as well be three thoroughly unconnected issues – however, I can assure you they are not. This week has been a crazy one, even by recent standards; some pretty weird lows, but some absolutely incredible highs.
One of those undisputed highs was yesterday’s march. I wasn’t able to make it to the Women’s March in London yesterday but I have plenty of friends who did – and I couldn’t be prouder. I’ve been totally overwhelmed looking through pictures, watching videos, and generally feeling very emotional at all the incredible women who took to the world’s streets yesterday. If you’ve missed out on any of this, I suggest you take a look at Ashley Judd’s reading of Nina Donovan’s incredible poem here – it will tell you everything you need to know.
The fact is, it’s all connected. The fight against inequality is infinitely complex – and in the worlds of MLK, ‘injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere’. The news that Oxfam released on Monday, that 62 billionaires own as much as half the world, is just another example of an incredibly unequal world where money drowns out the voice of all other interests. We see it in every part of our daily lives. Oxfam’s news isn’t even particularly surprising – we take it for granted that the gap between the super rich, and the world’s poor majority, is impossibly extreme. But while we hate on Trump, and the super-rich, and fear for the way the world is currently going…
We cannot claim that we fight for equality whilst wearing clothes made by oppressed women lacking access to all the basic things that we take for granted.
This is, primarily, a reminder to myself. I am as bad as everyone else when it comes to fast fashion – perhaps worse, because I’ve been aware for years how dangerous it is. I’ve been learning about the garment industry for two years now, yet my buying habits have barely changed. By my own estimations, I probably only purchase about 25% of my wardrobe second hand or from sustainable retailers. I took Traidcraft’s quiz and discovered that despite all my efforts, I’m not making any dent at all in global poverty. I’m simply standing still. And it stops here.
I don’t need more. I don’t need anything that is made by the hands of a woman working for less than £1 a day. I don’t need to unknowingly give my business to companies using child labour. I don’t need to be complicit in the degradation of our planet and the human lives within it.
So I’m going to try harder. I’m going to be better. I’m going to wake up. I’m going to remember my global sisters and I’m going to give a damn every single time I take out my purse.