The Ethical Fashion Conversation Evolved: Isn't It Ironic? Who Made My Phone?
It's absolutely important that we keep the conversation on ethical fashion growing strong, so I don't want anyone to feel that I do not support it or am attempting to discredit the good work being done. At some point though, the conversation needs to evolve and I don't feel comfortable sitting quietly waiting until it finally does. My hope is that we can share in conversation & continue to grow together.
I have openly shared about the lifestyle changes I have made over the course of 7 years, slowly buying secondhand + handmade, and restoring salvaged pieces, to mostly only buying secondhand + handmade, and restoring salvaged pieces, for the last 4 years. It's not something I am proud of, it's something I am passionate about and want to share with others on how they can change their lives, along with the course of other people's lives, just by using their power of being consciously aware of how and where they shop. Once we understand how connected we all are, I think it becomes impossible to not care about what's going on and not accept and take responsibility for the parts we all play in the grand picture.
I admit, I am not perfect, I will never be perfect, there will always be something I am doing wrong and something I can do better. I do think a lot though, and wanting to be better is always on my mind. Asking myself questions on how I can grow brings me to many realizations and conclusions.
Although I am down to majority secondhand + handmade products, my electronics are mostly new or refurbished. This has really got me thinking about my phone, camera, computer, all the products I use, ironically enough, to advocate for things like living more ethically through the products I purchase.
I began asking myself questions like:
How can I be better?
Can I do more?
Am I unintentionally being a hypocrite?
After doing some research, the answer to these questions were:
Yes. Absolutely, yes.
I use an iPhone & a MacBook, I am Apple's biggest fan. I love my Apple products. They are the best in my mind. Sharp, tasteful design, reliable, great customer service, so really it never occurred to me that they might not be manufactured ethically. I unintentionally avoided seeking the truth, because I just wanted to believe the best, was the best.
I couldn't have been more wrong. You can check your products on The Good Shopping Guide. The iPhone scores one of the lowest ratings on the ethical company index, with a score of 48, and scoring a bottom rating on human rights.
How can I in good conscious continue to support that?
How can we in good conscious continue to support and advocate for one industry regarding its ethicalness, while completely ignoring and disregarding another's, all while using our blood-soaked products to do so?
Really let that sink in...
We advocate for ethical fashion, using our unethical electronics to do so.
The big questions we really need to be asking ourselves and answering honestly:
How can & will we do better?
Are we really demanding & wanting change, or just interested in the "feel good–making a difference" marketing + monetization of ourselves/blogs/businesses?
Something to contemplate:
We really have to speak up and out more. We aren't meant to sit quietly waiting around for change or excusing the need for it away. We have to be bold to start tough conversations and keep them moving forward, not just continuing to repeat the same conversations over and over again, because they are finally considered socially acceptable.
Things we can do right now:
Don't Ignore it. Don't push the guilt down. Don't wait for it to be a bandwagon trend. Talk about it now.
Keep the conversation going.
Use the products we currently have to continue to educate ourselves.
Educate each-other, without judging or attacking. We all work at a different pace and conversation requires mutual understanding and healthy communication to move forward.
Share this post, link back to it, write your own.
Create your own educational materials to Tweet and share on Instagram. Build your own community and use hashtags to help spread awareness: #whomademyphone
Determine if you really need an upgrade on a product and if secondhand is possible, give it a shot. What we purchase and choose not to purchase, really says a lot and is what packs a punch in the industry. Use your purchasing power and let's make some dents.
The more common the awareness, the more pressure is placed on an industry. That's how change is won.