It’s with great pleasure to bring you a guest post today by Jane, author of the Fairdare blog. There are few blogs that speak to me as consistently and powerfully as Jane’s. She’s a change-maker that brings me hope through her actions and words. For further inspiration, please read on!
Hello! It’s exciting to be in this space today, and it’s an honor to be invited to share a little about the Fairdare here! Julie and I share so many of the same values: a love for zero-waste, simplicity + beauty found in the little things. One of the best things about writing + putting it out there into the vast unknown is making connections with like-minded people who become friends every bit as real as if we were able to sit down for a cup of tea together. Julie is one of those friends for me! I love reading about other’s simple pleasures and especially getting to peek inside their closets (invited, of course). 🙂
I like fashion, but I love people and the environment. Much of our clothing today is made overseas. Clothing companies want to make money, so most of them look for manufacturers willing to offer the lowest prices. In this global economy, there will always be another manufacturer willing to offer a lower price. It is a race to the bottom price-wise. Consumers get used to paying less and less, until one day a $35 shirt feels like a rip-off. In this race to the bottom the clothing company and the consumer are the winners. CEO’s become some of the richest individuals in the world, and you and I end up with overstuffed closets that need Marie Kondo-ing at least twice a year.
The losers in this equation are the farmers who grow the fibers, the garment workers who cut and sew our clothing, and the environment that bears the brunt of all this excess. Increased demand has farmers spraying toxic chemicals on their fields…increasing yield while making them sick. Garment workers are paid less and less for more and more work in order to offer lower and lower prices and to keep the orders coming. The environment suffers through deteriorating soil health from the pesticides, polluted waterways from chemical and dye runoff, oil guzzling polyester production, and the incredible amount of fabric waste and disposal of clothing.
As hopeless as all of that sounds, what I really want to say is that I have great hope for change! With a thoughtful shift in thinking, we can each contribute to a movement toward farmers’, garment workers’, + the environment’s flourishing. The Fairdare grew out of my desire to articulate both the problems and the changes that we can make. The ideas are not new, but putting them all in one place helped me with my own commitment.
The Fairdare is built on a foundation of ‘less’. Many of us enjoy an affluence that has allowed us to consume beyond our need. I love Ghandi’s statement, “The world has enough for everyone’s need, but not for everyone’s greed.” We embrace ‘enough’. We value what we already have by wearing, caring for, and repairing our clothing. We buy fair when we need to: we thrift first, next we consider making our own, and finally we buy fairly made pieces. Our choices increase as the number of ‘fair brands’ increase every day!
If you’d like to learn more about this issue and the hope we have for the future, please come visit www.fairdare.org! I would also recommend taking the time to watch The True Cost movie. Everyone who buys clothing should watch it! There are more educational resources, mini challenges, an ethical brand list, and encouragement on our site. We would LOVE to have you join forces with us and take the Fairdare!! Alone, each of my choices do make a difference, but together I truly believe that we can change the way the clothing industry works for the betterment of everyone!