Saturday, October 5, 2013

Eco for thought!

I love the two words eco chic...

Embracing "a greener way of living" is fashionable.
There is  pressure to think and act responsibly to help reduce our personal carbon footprint.
Purchasing goods from companies whose business practice is to be mindful of their impact on our planet is the ethical way to shop. Everybody wins.

I have purchased clothing from the Canadian Company Joe Fresh in the past...
and more recently Walmart.
I have found the clothing to be economically priced and well made.

The Weston family company employed workers in India where a terrible accident occured.
Sadly many workers perished. I wonder if the company knew of the conditions where these workers were employed and if they did, why would they allow people to work in such deplorable conditions?
Ultimately the standards for construction and engineers were most likely responsible for the building's collapse.
You can find more detailed information on the internet if you are interested.

The company spoke to the press after this tragedy and said that they would stand by the workers and their families and offer compensation to those children who suffered the loss of a parent in the factory collapse.
One can remain cautiously optimistic that improvements will be made and that safe conditions and standards will be maintained.
How are we to know if the workers who make our garments are treated fairly or paid a living wage?
Should that influence our spending habits?
If we do not know do we care?
"out of sight out of mind."
I am just putting it out there as I am curious how you feel about this topic.

This great garden tote is made form recycled rubber tires
it is durable and very attractive.
I can't bring myself to get it dirty just yet!
That and the cats like to jump inside it and curl up for a nap.

Pacific Rim Brackets
is a company based in Vancouver

Do you know where the clothes you are wearing were made?
Do you care if they were produced in unsafe factories or made by children?

I'm not very confident that I am as informed as I should be nor do I feel that I am an ethically savvy shopper...
do you have any thoughts on the issue?

~ ~ ~

We've enjoyed a mild sunny Saturday here in Victoria.
One that allowed us to walk along the waterfront and out on the breakwater and back.

I've got homemade clam chowder simmering on the stove for dinner tonight...
I am planning our first of the season prime rib of beef dinner tomorrow evening.
Hoping that our lovely daughter and her man will share the feast with us.
Ina Garten's Apple Crostada will be dessert and I plan to have a long walk to compensate for eating a slice!

I am currently reading Barbara Kingsolver's Flight Behaviour and am halfway through...
she is a seriously gifted writer.
The people in the novel are dirt poor and you really feel that poverty.
I feel such empathy and respect for those who struggle to provide for their families.

I am humbled and counting my blessings for so many things.
Basic things
 like a warm home, clean water and food.

I wish you Joy in your daily round.


  1. I do think that we have to care about where our goods come from and who has worked to make them. Sympli and Neon Buddha are reliable companies in Vancouver. I really enjoyed Flight Behaviour. It was really thought-provoking.

  2. Thank you for the book recommendation. I usually enjoy her books, but didn't at all like La Laguna. As far as ethically produced materials go, I struggle to understand where things come from, but it is often a mystery unless one shops at 10000 Villages. I read the comment above, and it's good to know that Sympli is trustworthy.

  3. A wonderful book. Have you read any other of her books? Totally worthwhile!

  4. I'm like you and don't know as much as I should about where my clothing comes from. I do own quite a lot of Eileen Fisher clothing and, from what I have read, that company is grappling with the same issues. I have noted that some recent EF purchases say that they are made in the United States, but I know quite a bit is still made abroad. EF also makes attempts to not waste water or pollute in the manufacturing process. Again, I get the idea that they are making efforts, but haven't totally eliminated harmful practices. You can read more on their website about these efforts.

    Other clothing I buy comes from a company called Worth NY. I do not know anything about their manufacturing processes, but, like with EF, I have noted that some recent purchases carry tags saying Made in the United States. One would hope that workers here are treated decently--but there are no guarantees even in my own country. For many companies, it is all about maximizing the bottom line, no matter what happens to those who toil to help them make their profits.

  5. I don't think we can always know for sure how our clothing is made, but we can try to buy from brands and manufacturers who make a point of environmental awareness and working conditions (as Eileen Fisher does). It does put some economic pressure on for manufacturers to clear up their acts. Love the garden tote.

    I notice in the photo on your sidebar that your natural grey hair is growing in nicely!

  6. I know where my clothing is made (by law required on the care label) but not the conditions. My son recently came over in a new sweatshirt. When I complimented it, he told me the price and I gasped- very expensive for a poor student. "But it is Made in Canada", he said. Right in that moment i confronted how seduced I had been by cheap clothes made in the developing world, some of it no doubt in hazardous conditions.

  7. Mme. I also love the label Lilikoi, made in Nelson BC. Wonderful things and they wash and last well.

  8. I have not found a correlation between price and place of origin/working conditions. Some Eileen Fisher clothing is made in USA, is organic, etc, but plenty of her items sport a CHINA label. I hope that the working conditions are good--these garments are not cheaper than the made in USA pieces--but how can we know?

  9. I know where everything I buy is from. I try to shop second-hand first, locally second (either a locally-owned store or Canadian business), and ethically-produced as much as possible. It is worth paying a bit more to support our local and downtown businesses, and to buy things that were made here or in an ethical way, where the workers are earning a living wage and working in safe environments. I refuse to shop at box stores or Walmart or other "fast fashion" businesses. Good for you for paying attention to this - price isn't always the bottom line!

  10. I firmly believe that the companies know exactly what's going on and that they turn a blind eye for profit. Then when they get caught, they plead ignorance. They went overseas to make their garments because they was dirt cheap to make so they had an idea of what was going on. I applaud companies who refuse to do business with these sweat shops.

  11. Excellent subject! I do believe we should be cautious about where we spend our money and I love buying recycled items for my home. The black ribber tote is great and I have seen a few for sale here in Austin, TX.

  12. That garden tote is gorgeous, and yes, I believe it's our responsibility to use our dollars ethically.

  13. There are many people, in fact, a large percentage of the population even where you live in a developed country, who can only afford to buy cheaply produced items to maintain the semblance of a lifestyle like yours. If they are no longer able to buy in that price range, there would be social unrest in paradise! It is a very complicated subject and not one for taking a high moral ground on.

  14. We have a knitting group here and one woman has her own sheep. She sheers, washes, cards, spins and knits her sweaters. Happy sheep, happy lady

    Just like you, I am very concerned about the planet and our people on it. Some clothes actually smell funny. This can't be good for anybody or anything. I don't want a chemical rubbing on my skin all day.

    I haven't bought anything yet this month. I think I will get a sweater or jeans. :)

  15. Such a beautiful... and thought provoking post... the very best kind of posts!

    On knowing where my purchases come from... I don't... but I know I should. As I have gotten older... I realize I need less goods... and have more time to make decisions on what I do buy. I think your raising the question... does well for all of us to give pause and ask ourselves... how can we make better choices.

    Your description of a lovely meal ... shared with family... beautiful!