money talks

this is a sad but true fact, and one i've struggled with for a whole host of reasons. in our world, money talks. our economy is consumer-driven and all about consumption.

our economy impacts much of the world's economy in part because we really do live in a global economy.

but. the thing that has really been gnawing at me as of late is this: how do my purchases impact people?

this question gets really complicated really quickly. because there are  whole host of arguments and things to consider. and i have not looked at all sides of the argument yet. it's really hard to come down on one side or the other with this. i've been looking and thinking mostly about clothes and shoes and wearable things, but there are also questions about food, and technology, and modern "necessities" which are still luxuries in many parts of the world.

so, who knows, maybe this will end up as a series of posts. {i haven't even figured out where this one is going yet, so we'll see.}

i've been mulling over these things for a while now, and the more i do the more i think that things need to change. as nice as it would be to go to the store and just buy what we need and not worry about the implications that our purchases have for other people in the supply chain, our world does not currently have that kind of transparency. and many companies out there care about one thing only - the almighty dollar.

yes, in order for a business to stay in business it needs to make money, but when money is the driver of everything, and the well-being of people in one part of the world is sacrificed so some other people can have some stuff that they want, but won't actually make them any happier - we have a problem.

i'm being harsh on this subject because for too long i've sort of paid attention to the facts of where my clothes come from, but it's so much easier to ignore it in favor of buying what i want when i want it. recently i've started to realize more and more what the realities are about how my life and lifestyle impact those in different parts of the world.

i used to walk into a store, see something i liked or wanted, and throw it in the bag or cart without really thinking about how it got there. i'm definitely not one of those people who have a high horse to sit on when it comes to this subject. i have actively tried not to think about these things. i've thought about how little of a difference one person can make in this. i've been all over the map and back again. but i do think i need to pay more attention. my conscience is no longer clear when i make purchases based only on price or convenience.

what are the business practices of different companies? if i'm only paying $7 for a shirt, and the company is still making a profit, what does that mean for the people who are actually making the clothes?

this subject is extremely complicated because some companies say they pay fairly, and have plenty of oversight in their factories, but factories can subcontract to other factories. some of the rules in place are not honored by those running the factories.

there are so many factors to this. people are not honest. companies say one thing because it's something that people want to hear, but they don't actually have the necessary oversight in place to ensure those practices are followed.

the short answer to a very complicated question is this: it's best to avoid companies driven completely by money. if they don't buy into a larger story, but are driven mostly by maximizing their profits they will likely end up condoning some morally reprehensible things because people matter less than money in their view {not that most of them would express it that way.}

that is where i've come down at this stage in the game, but this question is far from answered in my mind. i'd love to hear about thoughts and ideas you have on this subject! where do you come down? have you come across any helpful resources?



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