[ethics & our world]
Hello everyone. If you have about a minute and a half to spare, read this article: Toll in Bangladesh Building Collapse Climbs to 275. Or at least give it a skim.
Does this make anyone else feel wildly uncomfortable? The catastrophe was brought to my attention by a favorite designer of mine, Heidi Merrick. She also happens to be the sister of my pastor at Reality Santa Barbara...but that isn't really relevant. I have a ton of respect for her because not only does she produce insanely beautiful clothing, she is also dedicated to making sure that her apparel is produced in an ethical manner, not trading lower prices for cheap and inhumane labor practices.
I for one am guilty of choosing to shop at stores that I know full well do not support ethical labor rights. I would rather pay less and not think about the humans on the other side of the world who are being exploited so that I can pay $15 dollars for my T-shirt instead of $30. But then I read something like the article above, and it hits me like a ton of bricks.
"Toll in Bangladesh building collapse climbs to 275."
That is nearly 97 times the number of people who died in the Boston Marathon explosions last week.
18 times the number of people killed in the Texas explosions.
And at least 1000 people were injured in the building collapse.
ONE THOUSAND HUMAN BEINGS.
Whether we want to believe it or not, our consumption practices do have an effect. Merrick says in her own blog, "When clothing is purchased at a low cost, the more lives of factory workers are at high risk and endangered everyday due to poor wages and lack of basic safeguards. So it's true. This human rights issue strictly lies in the quality of clothing you choose to purchase."
The world we live in is so much more interconnected than most of like to think. Processes of globalization have made the decisions of a few incredibly impactful for the lives of many, too often in a negative way. Although none of us can really stop a couple of crazies from setting off explosives at events like the Boston Marathon, we CAN be conscious of the everyday choices that we make that impact the world. That effect people. People whose lives hold just as much value as the three individuals who were killed in Boston last week. Perhaps their faces and stories aren't plastered all over CNN for the world to see, but the 275 people killed in this collapse were mothers, fathers, daughters, and sons. To me it seems like a no brainer - pay a little bit more for my clothing so that my fellow human beings across the world can live?
“Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?"
- Isaiah 58:6 -