I read an excerpt from Kelly Cutrone's book Normal Gets You Nowhere a couple of days ago. One thing she talked about was how we, as Americans are very unaware of a lot of things in our world. We go about our days spending time thinking about our lives, the lives of those who are close to us, the lives of the Kardashians, what we want to wear, eat, and where we want to party at...And a lot of us (not all) are blithely unaware that we are unconsciously making a choice to stand by and be apart of something when we are absorbed in all of that. We make the choice without ever really deciding to make it. It's made for us because we have so many things that we focus our attention on. Things that do deserve our attention..but things that we never delve deeper into because we don't really think about the fact that it goes further than us.
As a teenage girl, you're not thinking about why Forever 21 is able to sell you cute clothes so cheaply. All you care about is you can shop and get things that you like. You walk into a store, see this great deal on a dress and you're happy that you can purchase something you like without having to spend too much of your money. You buy it, and leave the store. And it ends there.
I know all too well because I was that girl. imagine how disgusted I was with myself when I found out the truth!
But what you don't know is that someone your age, probably even in the country that you live in is working to make you that dress. And they get paid barely nothing. Their working conditions are filthy. They aren't like the ones you have at your job that you hate because your boss is a bitch. They may not have bathrooms or lunch breaks. Basic human rights. And instead of buying dresses, they're scraping together their pay for a meal that isn't going to satisfy them.
The store that plays the upbeat music, providing an atmosphere that the average teenage girl will like, and has all the great, cheap clothes is the same corporation that is allowing people to live this way. It's like getting a huge, creepy smiley face on a test that you completely bombed. You get your paper back with this big ass smiley face on it, and when you remove the sticker, you find a huge, red 'F'. If you're like any normal person, you're gonna put the smiley face back over the 'F' because you want to look at the smiley face rather than be reminded of your failing grade.
Sucks when you think about it that way, huh? And that's why companies get to keep running morality and human rights into the ground. Because we just keep smiling and ignoring the big, red problem. Either by knowing about it and not caring, or not caring enough to know about it. I won't even talk about how many times they've been accused of stealing designs. As if being a young and unknown designer isn't hard enough, you have a multi-billion dollar corporation stealing your ideas and mass producing them, giving you absolutely no credit whatsoever. Talk about a crime of fashion.
I was on Topshop.com today, browsing. And I started adding a few things to my cart. I went to my cart to review what I had and thought about Kelly's words. So I went to the About Us section. Then I went to the Responsibilities section. And I started to read.
Even though I love the stuff they have at Topshop, I can rarely shop it. It's a bit pricey for me at the moment, but I use a lot of their stuff for Polyvore sets or just when I feel like online window shopping. (Yes, people do that). I never resented Topshop for being pricey because I am a firm believer in the phrase "You get what you pay for". They have so many nice things there and they're priced highly for a reason. Sometimes it can get a bit ridiculous, but most of the time, I think things are fairly pricey.
This is what I read: (Excuse my laziness, I don't feel like paraphrasing)