It Starts with Us

    I am seventeen years old. I work for my own money at a part-time job as a server. If I need clothes, the clearance section is the only place my means allow me to shop. In fact, after a good few months, I went this past weekend. I bought a dress, two shirts, and two pairs of leggings from Forever 21. My bill was $17.49. How much money went into the production of this? How much did the 3 trillion dollar fashion industry profit from my purchase?

    I do not care about any of these questions. Knowing these answers will not benefit me. However, that is not where the questions stop. What was The True Cost of my clothes? The tags all say it “Made in Bangladesh,” my country. I used to feel a sense of happiness. Yes! My people will also, one day, live the way I live. With the economy running and so many people employed, there is no way Bangladesh will remain undeveloped.

   That is not the case. People are working at buildings with cracked foundations to go home to their disabled children because of the use of pesticides in the cotton. The amount of money I make in a month is not fathomable to so many people in my country. One thousand people should not die because a building collapsed. I bought $17.49 worth of clothes. I am wearing one of those items as I write this. I too played into the system where only a few pennies of my purchase went to those who made it.

   Now it’s our turn, no matter how small, to make small changes. I can’t afford high-end brands, maybe no even fair-trade clothes, but I can go thrift shopping more. I can consume less. The most important thing to do is to remain aware and let others become aware. I found two articles that give an insight into a world I was blind of. Please do take a look. People are worth more than getting crushed under sweatshops, and it all starts with us.

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“The ethical fashion industry can’t forget about women of color in the U.S.” https://hellogiggles.com/fashion/clothing/ethical-fashion-industry-women-of-color/

“I’m An Anti-Sweatshop Protester — Here’s Why I Wear Fast Fashion”

http://www.refinery29.uk/2015/04/188382/rana-plaza-boycotts-dont-work

The True Cost Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaGp5_Sfbss

  • F.R. 2 ❤
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