30 September 2013

The old orange T shirt

Anyone who knows our family knows about my husband's old orange T shirts. He has four of them, which were freebies through his job about ten years ago. Now they are grease-stained and raggy around the edges, but remain his signature wardrobe item. There was a time when we couldn't pick him out in a crowd if he wasn't wearing one.

Anna dressing up in Daddy's uniform.
His mother hates them. She took them and washed them once, and was dismayed that the grease stains still remain (i.e. it wasn't a fault of my washing skills, which I was quite surprised by). Then she gave him some money to buy new ones. Now when he visits her, sadly she is still often greeted by the sight of her orange son. Yes, he does it on purpose, but he does get changed before Christmas dinner.

With this in mind I grinned when I read this week's 'lifestyle' newspaper supplement. I'm not sure whose lifestyle it represents - for example this week's issue featured a question about "Why eyebrow waxing makes my forehead shiny". Please. Every week there is a page or two on new and different types of make up available. Just how often do people buy makeup?

Where are the articles on chickens, that's what I want to know. What breeds are best for eggs? Hot tips on breaking a hen out of broodiness. A celebrity's favourite breeds. Some gorgeous pics of light sussex hens in a permaculture garden.

However, I ploughed my way through a story on a Parisian haute couture designer, Jorgen Simonsen, and he said something that grabbed me:

The ethics behind fast fashion disturbs (I know, it should be disturb) me terribly. You cannot possibly sell a $10 T-shirt. You can't grow the cotton, you can't pick it, you can't treat it, spin it, weave it, cut it, sew it, send it, merchandise it, sell it, possibly ever for $10 without leaving 10 million people in the ditch behind you.

And that, people, is why the only $10 T shirt you'll see on me will come from an op shop. Ian agrees too, and it's a prime reason that his old T shirts will clothe him for many days yet. Sorry, Mum.

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