Tag Archives: USA

Hold on to Every Loose Thread you Can!

The morning started out quite nice with homemade broccoli and cheddar quiche.  I didn’t get to snap a photo of it until it was half nommed…I find these days I love the stems of broccoli much more than the actual little trees. That is a complete turnaround since I was a child. I hated the stems when I was a kid.

I am working at home today, going through the dozens of emails and such that I have to deal with today. One of the nice things about working at home however is that you can take little breaks, and you can choose your background noise. I watch a lot of documentaries and one of the nice things about being a cable subscriber is that you can get ‘on demand’ channels and catch up on all the stuff you never have time to watch. I don’t have much time for television so I partly watch but mostly listen to it while doing other things. Today I queued up ‘Schmatta:Rags to Riches to Rags‘ directed by Marc Levin. This was screened at TIFF but I never had the chance to see it.  The context of the film takes a look at the garment industry in New York which bustled in the twentieth century, acting as one of the largest employers in the United States. Now, it dwindles by a thread literally…with industrialism pushing all of the manufacturing overseas. I think that when most people think about the economy, the terrible affects of Wal-Mart and other big box corporations, they think about the white collars, the banks, and so on – job losses, stocks falling, and so on. But, it really goes much deeper.

It’s sad to see the offspring of the immigrants who came to North America with a dream, lived it and hoped to pass it on – only ..they didn’t really get to because of the ‘me me me’ culture that we seem to plummet deeper in to with every generation. Consumerism and the low price mentality was defined in the film as ‘the race to the bottom’ and it is so true. It won’t matter that a dress only costs 8 dollars when you don’t have a job, and therefore the 8 dollars to pay for it.

The other side of this is knowing where your clothes actually come from. This is the part where you can actually get involved and try to make sure that wherever you live people are getting what they need, not being forced into labour that pays them poorly or treats them without ethics. Sweatshops are not a thing of the past, and are still very prevalent. The clothing industry in the United States went from supplying 95 to just 5 percent of the garments in it’s country. That is a stunningly scary number.

Save the Garment Center is spreading the word to save New York’s garment industry. I suggest checking them and the film out – both very worthwhile reminders.  Whatever keeps you out of H&M, Wal-Mart, etc.  🙂

I have also been spending a bit of time working on more pods. I went to the pottery guild lastnight and trimmed up a few of my pieces. Today’s result – a large pod.

And a new art yarn is off the drying rack, hanging out with the pod:

And, this morning I finished up my Totem Pole socks! (And cast on a second pair..yay!)