It’s February now and this just got real. A quick reminder to those who didn’t see my initial post about this, the fair project is a pledge to make choices with my money that value fair wages and working conditions for all people.
So, This year I’m only purchasing clothing from secondhand vendors like thrift stores. This month has been much more eventful than the last. I’ve had conversations with people about slave labor, went to some thrift stores, and just tried to be aware overall of how blessed I am to have a workplace that treats me with dignity. When I talk about what I’m doing, I usually get one of two responses. People either passively admire the intention, but don’t have any interest in changing their own habits, or they are completely shocked that slavery still exists in the world and don’t know how to cope with the thought.
I understand both of these responses completely, but they still sadden me in a way. The surprise or apathy that I’ve received as feedback over the course of this month proves to me that not enough people are aware of what is actually happening in the world today. What a blessing it is to be an American. To have freedom, rights, a home, the ability to freely worship, and more. But we must think beyond ourselves.
The challenge I’ve given myself is uncomplicated, but it isn’t always easy. A struggle that I’ve dealt with throughout my life is finding clothing that fits my body type. When going to thrift stores, I can’t just ask for something in “long” or size up so that clothing fits. The options are more limited. I’m learning to be content with what I already have, so this tiny challenge I’ve faced with this project does not change my passion to be a voice for the voiceless.
I want to leave each of you with two things. The first is asking you to join me in taking the Fair Pledge:
“I pledge to think before I buy. To consider what the cost of an item is for the people who made it. I pledge to not add to the demand of labor trafficking with my choices. I acknowledge that I will not be perfect. But I pledge to do better.”
And the second is a few tips for shopping at thrift stores
- Wear loose fitting clothing to the store. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be trying on a million things before finding something you like. Loose clothing is easier to change in and out of, so it saves time.
- Figure out what deals are going on at different thrift stores. Sometimes, Goodwill marks down the price of items with a certain colored tag. I also learned that Savers offers 25% off the entire purchase every Thursday if you give them your email.3.
- Wash the clothing and wash yourself afterward. Who knows where those clothes have been!
We believe that every person can purchase ONE thing for ONE month (or more) fair trade. If that is something you will join us in then sign The Fair Pledge today and you will be added to our exclusive StoryChanger group with like minded people, support and encouragement. When we do small things well we can see change happen.