What are you wearing right now?
No really, what are you wearing? If you're anything like me (and you're out of your pjs) you're probably in a pair of jeans.
Where did those jeans come from? Your dresser, maybe. The floor, possibly. A store of some kind, most likely. And before that?
Most likely your favorite pair of jeans have been shipped here from China, where they were made by a young woman working for about 6 cents an hour. Isn't that an amazing, and terrifying thought?
We watched a documentary in class today called China Blue. It was seriously amazing, and incredibly thought provoking. We've been discussing globalization this week, and this movie really showed the reality of what that brings to people.
I guess all this time I've been assuming that my jeans were assembled by a machine. That's true, but there's also a person sitting at a table guiding the fabric through that machine. And another person, most likely a young woman, cutting the threads and de-linting the pockets. They work lots of overtime, sometimes until 3 in the morning, without recieving any extra pay.
The movie was shocking for sure, and it left us all questioning what can we do to fix this? Boycotting Levis or True Religion wouldn't do much, because if everyone stopped buying the jeans then orders would stop coming to the factories and the workers wouldn't make any money at all. And if a factory did provide breaks and adequate pay to its workers they'd never be able to compete and stay open.
Today was very eye-opening for me. I actually came back after class, took a pair of jeans out of my dresser (I wore a dress today!), and examined them for at least 15 minutes. I thought about the work that went into creating them, and I wondered what those people were like. In the film Jasmine, a young girl who works for the factory, wonders who the "big and tall" people are that wear the jeans they make. Looking at the stitching I could see where it wasn't in a perfectly straight line, or where there was an extra fabric thread sticking out. I had never noticed these things before, and they don't bother me in the slightest now.
Right inside is a tag that says, "Made in China".