So I basically have to decide with every item I order how universally likable is said object, will people buy it and how much will people pay for it. Holy shit! You ask 100 different people what they think about a particular item of clothing for example and you get 100 different answers. I took on the task of ordering new sweatshirts and long sleeve t-shirts for the fall/winter seasons. This included deciding which sweatshirts to buy and what image to put on them. As the director said to me one day, I was fun at first and then it got to be not so fun as it took up more and more work time, brain power and kept me up at night ("what if everyone hates them and I wasted thousands of dollars??!!").
The logo stuff took time and some hounding of contributing artists. But more painfully I had to figure out where to order the blank sweatshirts from. Here at Green Gulch using organic products is very important so we have often used the company Econscious for our clothing needs. And they are pretty good. Their website says all the right things. For the sake of the environment I do believe organic is better. Not using petrochemical fertilizer is simply better. Chemical fertilizers are toxic and they get into ground water, kill animals and poison people who come into contact with them. Things can get a little sticky when you start to look at certifying organizations and their actual standards (see QAI, the world's largest organic certfier) standards are known to be broken or sometimes like in the case of China, they do not allow foreigners to inspect their farms and the US agency must rely on a contracted third (fourth) party certifier. There are great certifying boards in the US, often times local to certain areas, but if a farm uses them it is often on top of using the USDA "McCertifier". This is one of the problems with all of our products coming from overseas, it is often much more difficult to monitor quality, working conditions, employee payment, etc. even when organic.
|Yikes! At least she looks like she weighs more than 90lbs?|
So when Megan at the Feminist Current blog mentions in many places, how disgusting the founder is and her general abhorrence of the existence of AmApp, I feel guilty! After much time debating the merits of various options (availability, fit, feel, colors, organic, made in US) I chose one sweatshirt from Econscious and one from American Apparel. I think my partner was a bit disturbed that I paid more money for a sweatshirt that wasn't even organic but I do think there's merit to Made in the USA. And my only option for doing that is to simultaneously support fair working conditions and the exploitation of women. Not so clean. It never is.