I once wrote that traveling makes you think. I should explain. Making a journey undoubtedly leads you to discovery. Discovery opens your eyes to often see things in a different light and when your eyes are open, you find yourself in a place of questions. Questions that require you to analyze and look for answers. I’ll return back to my question later. Please hear me out
Last week I found myself talking about a memory I had that pictured me at the age of seven in a maths class. My teacher had presented me with a problem which she wanted me to solve. The word ‘problem,’ still fills me with dread, especially if there are numbers involved. I was too scared to ask for help so could never work out the answer. I told myself I was too stupid for maths and have believed that ever since, yet looking back over the years, I have been solving problems every day.
So here is my problem/
When faced with questions like the one in my title, I was struck by a realization that the question had two meanings.
Let’s talk about climate change, Does what you buy cost the earth? perhaps I should re-phrase the question. Does what you buy harm the earth because it does not cost the earth? Do you ever consider this?
I was traveling in India, working out the true cost of making a pair of trousers whilst helping out a small project concerning a school and a sewing room. That is when I had an eye-opening moment. These people were desperately trying to service the needs of the west hoping it would improve their business, bring jobs to local people who would then be able to feed their families. The fashion and textile industry in India relies heavily on western trade. I used to think this trade was crucial to the livelihoods of workers. Maybe you still think this way but digging further into the true story I can see we have a lot more thinking to do.
There is a huge problem and it will never improve whilst we continually demand fast fashion as a social need to fulfill our quick fixes. Do you really need another pair of shoes to add to the twenty pairs you already have.
If we are the problem then it really has to be us that comes up with the solutions. We can blame huge corporations, goverments and corrupt cartels but at the end of the day it should be us that only buys something that does not cost the Earth. You know what value is? yes and it has nothing to do with the price YOU pay and everything to do with what somebody else has to pay. When it comes to fast fashion, it is usually the textile worker who is working way below the poverty line to bring you a cheap tee shirt.
If plastic is filling up our oceans then why are we not refusing to buy plastic wrapped produce. I wandered around a major supermarket yesterday. It was hard to buy food not wrapped in plastic. I came out with hardly anything. I find this so hard to understand. We all know about this problem yet supermarkets sell everything in plastic. Why? because we still buy it and until we stop there will always be this problem.
If 63% of fashion items from major brands contain hazardous chemicals why are we still buying them them?
If, in the UK, WRAP estimates that £140 million worth of clothing goes to landfills every year, why are we throwing our clothes away (Know that only a small amount of clothes that go to charities end up being recycled. The rest is going to landfill sites)
So I ask you again, What CAN you buy that does not cost the earth?
We are excited to be in the planning stages again of DAADI. A safe platform of goods that will not cost the Earth. We are keen to hear from any producers of items that we can platform. If you have a story, we can tell it. Please get in touch and keep up your good work.