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07-06-2006
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I was recently reading about an artist who has started a collective in Rio de Janeiro called Coopa Roca, which allows finanically poor women in that region to develop sewing / crocheting skills while working from home. This results in them being able to make more money than they otherwise could, while being able to be at home with their children. What sets this coop apart from similar organizations, is her focus on the high end desing sect and the result is a clientele that includes Paul Smith, Carlos Miele and lighting designer Tord Bootje. http://www.coopa-roca.org.br/en/index_en.html


I checked out her website and her work is beautiful, but check it out for yourself. The article mentioned her "lack of self adulation" and the fact that her website doesn't even mention her involvement with this project supports this.www.nicolalopez.com

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08-06-2006
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I think it would be very helpful and appropriate for people to post here when they find a clothing line that is not made in sweatshops so we don't all have to do the research on our own.

Here's a few I have found

http://www.nosweatshoplabel.com/accredited_comp.htm (Australian based site)Can't forget American Apparel-http://www.americanapparelstore.com/main.html

No sweat Union Made Apparel http://www.nosweatapparel.com/shop.htm
And for those of you who say there is no solution I will end my post with a quote I have hanging on my wall: When looking for water in the desert where is the first place to turn? Away from thinking there is no water.

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Last edited by shoegal2183; 08-06-2006 at 06:53 AM.
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08-06-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shoegal2183
I think it would be very helpful and appropriate for people to post here when they find a clothing line that is not made in sweatshops so we don't all have to do the research on our own.


And for those of you who say there is no solution I will end my post with a quote I have hanging on my wall: When looking for water in the desert where is the first place to turn? Away from thinking there is no water.
Amen and Karma for you.

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08-06-2006
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Thank you very much ShoeGal2183. That's very cool.

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08-06-2006
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Thank you and you are welcome!

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08-06-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kizzume
The internet is a great resource for finding out about products. --But, it does take time to do the research, no matter what resource one uses: There's no getting around it taking time. That's why I said I try to buy things that aren't made at sweatshops, but sometimes it's just not possible without spending at least a few days if not weeks researching every purchase, and I don't usually have the time to do that.

I'd love it if there was a website that focused on this sort of thing that made it easier for people to find out this information on making ethical clothing purchases. There might actually be a website out there already that does this. If anyone knows about a site like this, I'd love to get the url. I've found "made in the USA" sites, but the listings for clothing is SO tiny that they're not helpful at all.

So, again, there's no getting around it: The key thing for making ethical purchases is making the effort and spending the time, and that's not a commodity most people have. My whole rant was basically saying that spending more money on something, no matter what store it comes from (unless it's at some stand selling homemade items at some farmer's market or something like that), doesn't make it -any- more ethical, and in some cases, makes it even less ethical when it's a company that gouges the prices and still uses slave labor to make their products.
Kizzume, I think you would really benefit from the kind of university courses that would teach you to make consistently logical arguments rather than spouting off from a place of ignorance.

You cannot understand why anyone would spend more than $500 on an element of an outfit except to look rich.

Some of the folks on this thread have tried to explain this. For me, it's aesthetics and self-expression.

I might also point out that this is called The Fashion Spot not covermynakedness.com, so if that's what you're interested in, you might go check those folks out.

Now perhaps it would be more ethical for me to wear sackcloth and ashes. I know that certainly within the last 100 years, and perhaps still today, there were religious communities where hair shirts were worn.

But part of my understanding of what life is about is to enjoy the fruits of my labors. I try to balance that with what I give back. Undoubtedly some days the balance is better than others. Some days the balance is definitely not in my favor.

Your post above answers in part the question of why one would spend big bucks on designer rather than searching till we find something cheaper. Here you admit that you don't have time to find fair trade products all the time. So I'm sure you won't mind my admitting that, not only do I not have time to look for something cheaper when I'm lucky enough to find something I like, but further, I doubt seriously whether what I've found exists at a lower pricepoint. And there you have my reason ... the aesthetic value is worth the $$$ to me. And the quality is often there too. While there are certainly quality issues at the designer level, there's a huge difference between a pair of Payless shoes, and a pair of department store shoes. There's also a huge difference in quality between a pair of $75 shoes and a pair of $200 shoes. (The kind of difference that could ruin your feet.)

The prices you so confidently state as maximums sound fine to me. I certainly have no attachment to paying high prices. But I also think that a) they're not very realistic and b) you don't have a clear picture of the differences between the men's clothes you shop for and the women's clothes I shop for.

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08-06-2006
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So you're basically admitting that you NEVER ethically shop. Congratulations. You can't find the time to do ANY research on the outfits you like, other than--"that looks good, I'll buy that". Yes, congratulations. That's pretty much the complete opposite of being an ethical consumer, and this thread is talking about being an ethical consumer.

If the -only- way to get a certain kind of outfit is to spend that much money on it, then you can either wait until less expensive versions come out, do some serious research, --OR-- you can spend that huge sum of money on it and anyone that looks at you will think you bought it to look rich--especially if it's well known that the look you're going for is expensive. You may not have bought it to look rich, but that's what anyone looking at your outfit is going to assume, and you couldn't have bought the outfit without having a lot of money to throw away. The people that don't have the sense to realize that sort of thing are usually the people who get mugged and then wonder why.

To quote Cyndi Lauper: Money changes everything.

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Last edited by Kizzume; 08-06-2006 at 04:43 PM.
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08-06-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fashionista-ta
While there are certainly quality issues at the designer level, there's a huge difference between a pair of Payless shoes, and a pair of department store shoes. There's also a huge difference in quality between a pair of $75 shoes and a pair of $200 shoes. (The kind of difference that could ruin your feet.)

The prices you so confidently state as maximums sound fine to me. I certainly have no attachment to paying high prices. But I also think that a) they're not very realistic and b) you don't have a clear picture of the differences between the men's clothes you shop for and the women's clothes I shop for.
Sometimes, and actually often times, the higher priced shoes are actually NOT made as well, where the name brand overrides the safety of the wearer. Hey, how about some $200 Doc Martens vs. some shoes that cost $80 less that one bought at Fred Meyer that are certified to be good on the feet. Hey, how about carhartt vs. diesel? There are so many examples of this it's not even funny. The whole price=quality is not even a "usually" thing, it's a "sometimes" thing. Yes, you're right about something from payless shoes vs quite literally anywhere else. Just about everyone knows that payless shoes are the cheapest pieces-o-crap out there.

The one thing I -have- found is that, over the past 8 years (it wasn't always this way), usually designer brands are made CHEAPER than the "mid-grade" brands. It's all about name brands. It's all about making a lot of money--it's the "American" way.

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08-06-2006
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I wanted this to be an edit, but the time limit ran out--so:

I needed to add that I'm not trying to be offensive, I'm just trying to state my viewpoints, and sometimes that can be offensive to people who have opposite viewpoints. I know that you're not trying to be offensive either, but it doesn't mean that I'm not offended by your viewpoints, so, we're in a debate.

I think it's a tragedy that women's clothing costs as much as it does. It's truly truly a horrible thing, it's unethical for these companies to be charging as much as they do for such small pieces of material. I truly feel sorry for women in this way. I also feel sorry for the men who are married to non-career women that have expensive tastes.

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08-06-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kizzume
So you're basically admitting that you NEVER ethically shop. Congratulations. You can't find the time to do ANY research on the outfits you like, other than--"that looks good, I'll buy that". Yes, congratulations. That's pretty much the complete opposite of being an ethical consumer, and this thread is talking about being an ethical consumer.

If the -only- way to get a certain kind of outfit is to spend that much money on it, then you can either wait until less expensive versions come out, do some serious research, --OR-- you can spend that huge sum of money on it and anyone that looks at you will think you bought it to look rich--especially if it's well known that the look you're going for is expensive. You may not have bought it to look rich, but that's what anyone looking at your outfit is going to assume, and you couldn't have bought the outfit without having a lot of money to throw away. The people that don't have the sense to realize that sort of thing are usually the people who get mugged and then wonder why.

To quote Cyndi Lauper: Money changes everything.
Ah, yet more unfounded assumptions from tFS's leading thinker I hope you don't mind my saying that I find your arrogance rather astonishing.

I don't generally make it my business to blow my own horn, but let's talk about a few ways in which I shop and consume ethically:
  • I buy vintage/antique wherever possible/practical. This includes an 80-year-old house, vintage light fixtures for it, salvaged hardware, salvaged wood flooring to repair the original flooring, etc.
  • When I buy something, new or old, I use it up or wear it out, and then I recycle. If something breaks, I always consider repairing vs replacing. For example, I've only ever owned two cars, both of which I bought new. The first I traded in with 187,000 miles on it. My current car has 136,000+ miles on it. I drive small, fuel-efficient cars. Another example: I cook for my dogs, and no food goes to waste at my house because my dogs eat all the leftovers. No restaurant food goes to waste either--I bring doggy bags home for the dogs. And because I'm eating good food, so are they.
  • I buy organic wherever possible, and I don't just mean food--I mean t-shirts, linens, towels, rugs, etc. Organic products are very often fair trade as well.
  • I buy from mom & pop vs big box whenever I can.
  • I have relatively few clothes and shoes. I have one coat, a Burberry trench I bought on sale nearly 20 years ago. Yep, a great-quality designer item that's still going strong. I try to limit myself to two new pairs of shoes a season. I have three handbags for day--total.
With regard to research, you bet I do research. I read tFS regularly, and I subscribe to nearly every US fashion magazine out there, so I absolutely know what's available. When I say that what I'm buying isn't out there in another price range, I actually know what I'm talking about.

The interesting thing is that when you buy clothes in good taste, people who are uninformed such as yourself cannot look at them and attach a price tag to them--they simply know that you appear well-dressed.

In addition, I have never been mugged, and I strongly suspect that clothes are not the #1 factor in muggers choosing their victims.

Your view that price-conscious shopping equals ethical shopping is very narrow and actually far from true. The cheapest goods are usually the very worst in terms of human cost.

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08-06-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kizzume
Sometimes, and actually often times, the higher priced shoes are actually NOT made as well, where the name brand overrides the safety of the wearer. Hey, how about some $200 Doc Martens vs. some shoes that cost $80 less that one bought at Fred Meyer that are certified to be good on the feet. Hey, how about carhartt vs. diesel? There are so many examples of this it's not even funny. The whole price=quality is not even a "usually" thing, it's a "sometimes" thing. Yes, you're right about something from payless shoes vs quite literally anywhere else. Just about everyone knows that payless shoes are the cheapest pieces-o-crap out there.

The one thing I -have- found is that, over the past 8 years (it wasn't always this way), usually designer brands are made CHEAPER than the "mid-grade" brands. It's all about name brands. It's all about making a lot of money--it's the "American" way.
I know women's shoes pretty well, and while I've never owned a pair of shoes from Payless (I've merely observed the quality of their products as worn by others), I've owned shoes in virtually every other price range, and my experience bears out what I've said.

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08-06-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kizzume
I wanted this to be an edit, but the time limit ran out--so:

I needed to add that I'm not trying to be offensive, I'm just trying to state my viewpoints, and sometimes that can be offensive to people who have opposite viewpoints. I know that you're not trying to be offensive either, but it doesn't mean that I'm not offended by your viewpoints, so, we're in a debate.

I think it's a tragedy that women's clothing costs as much as it does. It's truly truly a horrible thing, it's unethical for these companies to be charging as much as they do for such small pieces of material. I truly feel sorry for women in this way. I also feel sorry for the men who are married to non-career women that have expensive tastes.
Dude, you have a very strange way of trying to not be offensive. I think that the reason some are having a hard time with some of the things you say, is rooted in your statements about how you are proud about judging other people for doing things you do not choose to do yourself. Healthy debate is great, but I feel like debating with you is losing sight of the idea of this thread and therefore this is the last time I am going to address your stereotypes and biased opinions.

Whether or not Fashionista has ever ethically consumed before is irrelevant, as at least she was on this thread in the first place. Try posting some actual facts, websites or the like if you want to make a difference, because up to this point you just seem to be offending the artists and fashion lovers who are trying to improve this industry. Not everyone who loves fashion design is also consumed with the way others perceive them, however, you seem to be consumed with this issue (the issue of "wanting to look rich).

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08-06-2006
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I might be wading into the line of fire here...but I think we all need to calm down a little and stop calling each other arrogant or unethical or any other names...there should be a way to exchange opinions peacefully and without quarrel.

fashionista-ta, perhaps you read Kizzume's arguments wrongly? From what I understand from his debate, he did not state that the cheapest brand is necessarily the way to go. He seems to be saying that research is the way to go, and while price is a big factor in his decision, his point seems to be directed more towards the markup percentages of products rather than actual prices.

Kizzume, I've been re-reading your posts, and while I think it's admirable that you're defending your stand to the death, perhaps it would be easier to show us some facts or figures, even some form of an article that we could read so that your statements about the lower cost prices of designer brands with regards to mid-range brands etc. are justified, because it is hard to believe what you are saying without solid numbers and facts. I hope you do not take this in offence and get defensive, but people do need proof in order to believe you.

Aesthetic value seems to be coming up a lot as a point in this debate. Personally I'm with fash ho' on this one, because I'm more for sustainability than anything else. But since this is the Fashion Spot, you would undoubtedly find more of us here who would be willing to pay a premium for this 'aesthetic value'. Some of us don't mind paying more to show our appreciation of this. Some of us would not. Let's not attack each other over it.

ps: scandababian, good quote

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08-06-2006
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Thank you, astatine, for your ability to bring things together. Great post.

Fashionista-ta: I am sorry I was so judgmental. I didn't realize just how much I've had an anger towards those that make enough money to do a lot of those things because I've never made much money in my life--I've always been financially poor, and you have given me a wake-up call as to my biases. Thank you. My basis for the mugging comment is that every person I've known who has been mugged was wearing an expensive outfit, and I've known about 8 people personally who have been mugged. I've never known anyone who was mugged, even as just as an accquaintance, who was wearing something ratty. This may not be the statistical reason for people getting mugged, but it is an observation I have made via people I know who have been mugged.

As far as the price not equaling quality thing--I tried to bring up examples like carhartt vs. diesel. So much of high-end fashion, for men, which is the only thing I have the right to speak about, ends up being thinner material, and materials that don't seem to be able to take abuse, because the main focus is how they look, not how they last--again, I can only speak for men's clothing. Doc Martens are quite frankly bad for the feet until they've been worn for almost a year, and by that time, because over the years the quality of Doc Martens has become cheaper (they were GREAT in the early 90's), they start to have problems--particularly in the glue they use. This is out of personal experience and the experience of my friends. Army boots are made SO much better than Doc Martens. I can try to give some more examples of this, and I know of many brand comparisons that this has been true in, but I don't know if that is the information you are looking for or whether you want articles talking about it and statistics.

I still stand by what I said about believing it is a tragedy that women's clothing costs so much. Men's clothing is usually more durable, is usually thicker, and yet, for some reason, often costs a fraction of the price of women's clothing.

I also still stand by what I said about art. Nobody is that important--Barbara Streisand charging $2000 for her concerts is outrageous, and I feel the same way about a clothing designer charging $10,000 for a skimpy dress. Yes, it looks cool, but why is it worth that much?

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08-06-2006
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So things don't get too far out of the thread subject, please go to http://www.thefashionspot.com/forums...ml#post1939315 for an explaination of something I regret terribly, and a major major thank you to everyone putting up with my crap.

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