I cannot always sympathize with that demand which we hear so frequently for cheap things. Things may be too cheap. They are too cheap when the man or woman who produces them upon the farm or the man or woman who produces them in the factory does not get out of them living wages with a margin for old age and for a dowry for the incidents that are to follow. I pity the man who wants a coat so cheap that the man or woman who produces the cloth or shapes it into a garment will starve in the process.
Those words have so much meaning today, but the truth is they were spoken by President Benjamin Harrison in a speech in August, 1891. It’s important to keep this in mind when reading about the on-going abuses in the textile and clothing industries. And thanks to Reba for sending the quote my way.
- Only a few months after President Harrison’s speech, the danger of working in a mill was punctuated with an explosion at the Amoskeag Mills in Manchester, NH.
- It would have been a highly improbable thought to President Harrison, but the problems he addressed 126 years ago in the United States have merely been transferred to Bangladesh.
- And also in Myanmar. (Of course neither country even existed in 1891, but that’s beside the point.)
- Here’s another article about the importance of home sewing.
- According to WWD there is a rising trend in the development of designer archives.
- There is a new online catalog of original garments and textiles belonging to costume designer and clothing collector John Bright.
- The Fashion Museum in Bath, UK, has put on display what might be a surviving dress belonging to Queen Charlotte. For those of us in the parts of the world that don’t know all the kings and queens of England, Charlotte was the wife of George III, and the city of Charlotte, NC was named for her. It is not certain that the dress was actually hers, though, as it looks to be a bit young in taste for Charlotte. It also looks to be too small, but this is partly due to the way it was mounted.
- The Société des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Elégantes, or SAPE, is alive and well in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital, Kinshasa.
- The Smithsonian website has a really interesting article called “The Invention of Vintage Clothing.” It really wasn’t the beginning of people wearing old clothes, of course, but it is an early example of what we now recognize as the vintage clothing industry.
- An heirloom wedding dress was lost from the dry cleaners, social media went to work, and the dress was located.
- Ashley Biden (yes, the former VP’s daughter) has started a hoodie line called Livelihood. The hooded sweatshirts are made in the USA, using materials sourced in the USA. Profits from sales will go to fund projects in two communities that suffer from a lack of financial resources (In other words, they are poor). If you are thinking that the sweatshirts are too expensive, I want to redirect you to President Harrison’s words at the top of this post.
I first mentioned the Grab Your Wallet boycott back in November. It appears that the boycott is having some effect, or maybe it is just that people are too embarrassed to be associated with the brands belonging to the First Family. At any rate, sales are down, and the boycott has been in the news. First, department store Nordstrom dropped the Ivanka brand due to poor sales. Daddy-in-Chief then tweeted, “My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. ” Statistics back up out Nordstrom’s claim that sales were the reason for the drop, not politics. While sales were up overall at Nordstrom, the Ivanka products sales were down. Then in the most unbelievable twist, presidential advisor Kellyann Conway urged the viewers of Fox News to buy Ivanka clothing. Really. It has since come out that other stores are either dropping, or making less visible, boycotted products.
And so now there are counter-boycotts from people who claim the pulling of the products is politically motivated against the President. And on and on…