Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Could you live on a Hundred Mile Clothes Diet?
Yesterday's post set off a flurry of thoughts and contributions on clothing as class indicators, and the inevitable: the politics of clothing.
Materfamilias commented that her Hermes scarf is made in France, where workers receive far higher wages and benefits than developing countries.
I think of this when I buy made-in-EU items...but besides contributing to the French workers' benefits, I am also paying for the company's gazillion-dollar ad campaign.
Feel a twinge when I read the Made in Sri Lanka label in a $30 Gap t-shirt, and pause... sometimes buy, sometimes not. Then I pick up the German t-shirt, yikes, $120!
I struggle with this issue every time I shop, pleased and relieved when I can Buy Canadian. I like to support our local designers, even though many skew too club-kid cute or society-matron safe for my taste.
What if I invoked the clothing equivalent of the Hundred Mile Diet for my clothes: nothing not designed and made outside of 100 miles?
Adios, Fila yoga pants, which wear like iron. Ciao, shawls from Italy, France, India. Sorry, DH, the Sabbia Rosa lingerie est partie. Sayonara, Uniqlo $70 sweater.
If I adhered to the rules:
The shoe situation would be dire. Roots and John Fluevog (shoes shown in photo, top) manufacture offshore now. There's a bespoke shoemaker I can see from my house, a sweet guy my husband likes. He uses some Canadian hides, but how many brogues do I want?
The findings, from coat buttons to bra hooks are not produced here, a major problem. Opaque tights- could I live without? The Comrags suit shown is a winner, but the fabric is not local. Revised in Ontario-spun hemp, gaaaah!
Bags would be a breeze- there are some world-class leatherworkers like Negash at Dessa and Negash in Toronto... maybe he could assure me the brass fittings are forged locally.Swimsuits? Hello, skinny-dip.
Some Hundred Mile Dieters say they cheat on coffee, so I would cheat on hosiery and bras (the thought of tying a bra closed is terrifying).