"The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." attributed to Plato

"Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing." attributed to Edmund Burke

Let's between us make the world a better place.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

To Die For, Fashion and The Big Issue

She is a pleasant lady, almost always there at the corner of the High Street, and I say hello as I walk by. But I never walk past unless I have bought the magazine she sells, and I never fail to find something of interest, of vital importance, or both, between its covers.
This week there is an article by Lucy Siegle, author of a best selling book written back in 2008, but of ever increasing relevance - To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing out the World, on the ethics of the fashion industry,

Her goal is to expose to us as Western consumers of “fast fashion” the facts behind the manufacture of the garments we buy too cheaply, throw away too quickly, value too little. She shows us why this system is doomed to exploit workers and produce excessive waste. Millions of workers on this global assembly line, predominantly in Asian countries, often suffer extreme hardships, intimidation and industrial accidents. Through knowledge she hopes we can make better decisions around our fashion purchases. Many of us already know in our hearts that the economics of cheap throw -away clothes cannot add up – that the environmental footprint of such fashion is quite extraordinary and totally unsustainable. I am sure we should all read this book and heed its message.

But let me get back to the magazine I bought this week with Lucy’s article in it. It is of course The Big Issue. I wrote about this in January this year.
Do please buy a copy next time you pass a street vendor selling it. You may be surprised at what a good read it is for £2. Last December there was a contribution from Prince William himself, demonstrating the empathy and compassion inherited from his mother that he feels for the less advantaged in society. And you are helping our fellow brothers and sisters who for whatever reason are less fortunate than ourselves find their feet again, come back from the fringes of our society and reclaim their dignity and independence.

You cannot even buy a coffee now in many places for £2. And how many of those do you buy in a week? So spare £2 for a Big Issue today – and every week.

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