“Wh-o May-de My Clot-hes” my friend Charles’ six-year-old son Baz sounded out beside me as we peered over the rails of a footbridge crossing over Canal Saint Martin at a recycled styrofoam sign Fashion Revolution France was floating in the water below.
How do you tell a child that the people sewing our clothing work their whole lives for wages that don’t even come close to covering the cost of living, not even the cost of living a super shitty life, and that sometimes those factory workers, mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, grandmothers, grandfathers, sons and daughters work in conditions so unsafe that thousands are killed or brutally injured over the years due to factory collapses like Rana Plaza.
Why do we know the most intimate details of the lives of people like the Kardashians, but we don’t know where the items covering our naked bodies come from, or the ingredients in our beauty products, or the story behind our food? Why is it that every little thing we do must cause harm to us and the world around us?
It hasn’t always been this way, and it can’t remain this way, we can’t sustain it. It’s Baz’s generation which will be the ones to do the saving – and the best thing we can do for them is to enlighten them through education. It is our responsibility as adults to discover and understand what is going on with all that is around us, to ask “Who Made My Clothes” / “Who Grew My Food” / “What Chemicals Are In These Products” and so on …. and adjust the way we buy and the way we live if the true cost in the answers received or discovered is not one to be proud of … we must connect our children to the stories which dance in the shadows around them, so they might shine light on the future before them ..