Tag Archives: USA

Clothes : Can they be ethical … a repost


beaseedforchangestickersGREENjust another rant …

First posted ~ November of 2012

Second hand or flea market shopping has been in the news a lot lately, but as folks join the movement to keep material out of landfills or reduce their eco-footprint; some push buy made in the US of A only while others believe reusing is best. The problem that needs to be address over and over is how toxic are our fashions?

The idea of wearing toxic fashions let alone recycling it is a disturbing thought given what we now know and at the end of the day, it always seems to go back to making that dollar dollar

There are a few who do 2ndhand because of financial issues, some wear it for personal reasons and even more, are on that path toward sustainable living, but as a whole 2nd hand, up-cycling or Eco-friendly seem like great names but being ethically stylish? I guess that means intentionally buying, wearing, devoting your dollar dollars to sustainably made only. The fact is …it is a lot tougher than folks think. Have you looked at your labels? The dictionary states that being ethical means acting in an ethical manner from an ethical point of view. Being “ethically stylish” is almost a mission impossible.

Before you say she needs more education don’t get me wrong because I definitely get being “ethically stylish,” “acting with intent” but when store buyers, the fashion industry and whatnot go out of their way to use cheap labor or toxic material, being ethical demands that the industry cooperate as well.

Unfortunately, this is an ongoing fight and here we are in the year 2019. I have bought and overpaid for a dress or two; tried buying American made only as well, but found myself buying because of the “cute factor” first then looking at the tag later finding that it was not made in the US of A or out of sustainable material, which definitely offends the “ethically stylish “code.  The likelihood of fashion corporations outsourcing was more cost-effective, cheap material and maybe not sustainable meant more for the money;  remember when big-name models, entertainment folks and designers were caught using sweatshops. Levis’s, are not just made in the US  but are imported as well and  501’s are my favorite but the prices can be insane though more sustainable. I buy them.

Lately, I have to say hearing the fashion industry in all its forms, say they are selling or being more ethically stylish is frustrating.  There are reports of companies and brands, which sell USA, made, but may among others in the industry possibly be using toxic materials, which made the giant move toward 100% Organic, Natural or Sustainable take several giant steps backward.  We need to buy and sell local, but again, almost a mission impossible as” Made in America” is not only more expensive the labels are far and few these days, the material is often blended with stuff we cannot pronounce. The history of the fashion industry and American Made is definitely a love-hate thing as designers and stars back in the day were wearing fabulous clothes rarely found on the racks, only to find out they were actually getting their clothes made by sweatshops, in some well-known and unknown countries …  and sustainable; probably not.

Yes, “Made in the USA” faded out to a blank whiteboard and the NYC garment district was but a memory for quite a while. There were some great “Where and what are they doing now” shows with older “go to” fashion designers, clothiers stating the fabric just is not the same nor are the people. The opportunity to make more clothes with cheap labor & material seemed to have become addictive and the image of what was going on in those countries is not good.   Fashion will always be a work in progress, but learning that unfair labor practices and or that companies are producing great looking garments, but possibly using toxic material since or before 2013 is sad given all that has happened to the industry over the last fifteen years or so.

Thus, making it tough to be ethical let alone wear fashion that is ethically stylish or sustainable.

I believe in reuse reclaim repurpose redecorate  and reduce … which keeps most material out of landfills

FYI … this was written back in November of 2012

ClearWaterProject: Building a movement for clean water & cultural survival


“Without clean water, we cannot survive,” Emergildo Criollo told me recently. See How We Work

You may have heard of Emergildo. An indigenous leader of the Cofan Nation in Ecuador’s northern Amazon, he has been a relentless advocate for his people, speaking out about oil giant Chevron’s toxic legacy in his territory. But today, even as he continues the fight to hold Chevron accountable, Emergildo isn’t waiting for a cleanup that seems always on the horizon.

Emergildo is taking matters into his own hands, helping to bring clean water to thousands of indigenous people who have suffered without for decades. And today, I want to ask you to support Emergildo, and the other indigenous leaders who are part of an effort that Amazon Watch is deeply proud to support:

It’s called The ClearWater Project.

ClearWater

Established in late 2011 by long-time Amazon Watch campaigner Mitch Anderson, ClearWater was a response to Emergildo’s clarion call for clean water, where access to this basic necessity can be a matter of life and death.

ClearWater began with a big goal: provide safe, sustainable access to clean water for every indigenous family in the region, whose ancestral waterways have been poisoned by oil production and ensuing industrialization.

In just two years, ClearWater has installed more than 500 family-sized rainwater harvesting and filtration systems that serve thousands of people in communities who have long suffered an epidemic of cancer, birth defects, and other illnesses that numerous health studies in the region blame on a lack of access to safe sources of water for drinking, bathing, and cooking.

And our efforts have been able to make this impact because from the beginning, ClearWater has been a collaborative partnership between the five indigenous nationalities here – the Cofan, Siona, Secoya, Kichwa, and Waorani – and international supporters, such as water engineers, humanitarians, activists, philanthropists, and people like you.

ClearWater believes in collaborative, integrative, community-led solutions, where someone like Emergildo is coordinating amongst the different indigenous nationalities to install new water systems, local youth are using GPS to map their biological and cultural resources, and frontline leaders are learning new media techniques to broadcast their concerns to the world.

Clean water, health, and dignity. From this foundation, Emergildo and the indigenous people of Ecuador’s northern Amazon, are building a movement for rainforest protection and cultural survival.

I’m proud that Amazon Watch is a founding partner in this project, and I hope you’ll join us too.

In solidarity,

Han Shan
Han Shan
Amazon Watch Advisory Board Member

P.S. Explore ClearWater’s impact by navigating around this cutting-edge interactive map designed by another Amazon Watch family member, Gregor MacLennan, now Digital Democracy’s Program Director.

In the Library: Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies


fruit&veggiesThis book is an ethnographic witness to the everyday lives and suffering of Mexican migrants. : Migrant Farm workers in the United States (California Series in Public Anthropology)

Based on five years of research in the field (including berry-picking and traveling with migrants back and forth from Oaxaca up the West Coast), Holmes, an anthropologist and MD in the mold of Paul Farmer and Didier Fassin, uncovers how market forces, anti-immigrant sentiment, and racism undermine health and health care. Holmes’ material is visceral and powerful—for instance, he trekked with his informants illegally through the desert border into Arizona, where they were apprehended and jailed by the Border Patrol. After he was released from jail (and his companions were deported back to Mexico), Holmes interviewed Border Patrol agents, local residents, and armed vigilantes in the borderlands. He lived with indigenous Mexican families in the mountains of Oaxaca and in farm labor camps in the United States, planted and harvested corn, picked strawberries, accompanied sick workers to clinics and hospitals, participated in healing rituals, and mourned at funerals for friends. The result is a “thick description” that conveys the full measure of struggle, suffering, and resilience of these farm workers.

Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies weds the theoretical analysis of the anthropologist with the intimacy of the journalist to provide a compelling examination of structural and symbolic violence, medicalization, and the clinical gaze as they affect the experiences and perceptions of a vertical slice of indigenous Mexican migrant farm workers, farm owners, doctors, and nurses. This reflexive, embodied anthropology deepens our theoretical understanding of the ways in which socially structured suffering comes to be perceived as normal and natural in society and in health care, especially through imputations of ethnic body difference. In the vehement debates on immigration reform and health reform, this book provides the necessary stories of real people and insights into our food system and health care system for us to move forward to fair policies and solutions.

from amazon.com


Vote with Your Fork, Chem Free Pesticides & Acid Ocean … it’s now 2016


Vote with Your Fork

vote with your fork

Feel that crackle?

Okay, okay. Stand still. Right here in front of me. Close your eyes. Extend your arms out. You feel that? That light crackle across your fingertips?

Change is in the air.

American agriculture is not sustainable. Our food is overloaded with pesticides, growth agents and all the trappings of modern chemical warfare. As a result, the produce we put on our plates … is lacking. We don’t taste the robust flavors in the juices bursting from our salad tomatoes. We cannot grasp the complex fullness of authentic, fresh herbs over rich potatoes for a multilayered flavor the way we would experience in less agriculturally destroyed countries.
READ MORE »

1st posted in 2014

Washington​: Stop the approval of GMO apples! a repost


I’m Peter Stocker of the organization Friends of the Earth, and I started a petition to U.S. Department of Agriculture, which says:

The USDA should not approve the genetically engineered Arctic apple. 

If approved by the USDA, genetically engineered apples could end up everywhere from school lunches to grocery stores, posing risks to our health, our environment, and apple farmers across the U.S.

Unlabeled genetically engineered apples could contaminate conventional and organic foods, including fruit slices, juice, baby foods, and applesauce—products predominantly consumed by children and babies, who are at increased risk for any adverse health effects.

GMO apples may contaminate nearby organic and conventional apple orchards and could potentially cause valuable export markets to reject U.S.-grown apples, as happened in the past when wheat and rice crops were found to be contaminated by GMOs. The U.S. Apple Association, Northwest Horticultural Council, British Columbia Fruit Growers’ Association, and other apple grower groups have repeatedly stated their disapproval of these GE apples due to the negative impact they could have on farmers growing organic and non-GE apples and the apple industry as a whole.

This product is unnecessary and poses numerous risks to apple growers, the food industry, and consumers. The USDA should not approve this genetically engineered apple.

The USDA is poised to approve the first genetically modified apple. 

If approved, these genetically engineered apples could end up everywhere from school lunches to grocery stores, posing risks to our health, our environment, and apple farmers across the United States.

Like other GMOs, they won’t be labeled and won’t have undergone independent safety testing—regulators will rely on the company’s sole assessment that the apple is safe for human consumption. 

Worse yet, this GMO apple was genetically engineered via a new, virtually untested experimental technique called RNA interference, which many scientists are concerned may have negative, unintended impacts on human health and the environment.

We need your help today, right now, to tell the USDA to say no to GMO apples.

Click here to add your name to this petition, and then pass it along to your friends.

Thanks!

–Peter Stocker