I have been trying to word what I want to say for the last 30 minutes now. There is so much to say I don't even know where to begin.
Had I been in London yesterday, I would of been one of the people standing outside Primark.
As you can see, the photo is of Primark clothing. Anyone with some sense will know where I am going with this.
Today, I decided to quit my job
A - As a potential career move mainly but also
B - As an ethical belief move.
Anyone who knows me will of had to put up with my tirades about my job for the last 2 weeks. About how I have felt dirty and fake working where I worked and how I feel like I am going against everything I believe in. About how I feel awful selling the clothes I sell and how much it messed with my head when I sit and think about what I am doing. This may seem over dramatized to some but to me it's a real issue.
I kept getting angry at myself as i knew what goes into making clothes and how frustrating and hard it can be, yet here I was selling something made for little under 50 pence to our western world for £30. So today, I put all my eggs in one potential basket, I took my risk and quit my job, Don't get me wrong, they have been a great company to me and I hope they have solved their manufacturing issues but it still just doesn't sit with me well. (note: My entire decision was not based on this, but it played a critical role in my thought process)
So having been thinking this for the past 2 weeks and also been watching programs such as 'The devil wears Primark' and 'Blood sweat and Tshirts' (which if you have not seen should check out with the link at the bottom of this), myself and my mum (who helps me make a lot of my clothes) eagerly awaited the Panorama report last night about the UK's favorite bargain bin fashion house, Primark. I knew what the program was going to expose yet could still not prepare myself to watch images I had seen so many times before of children sewing garments and testing stitching in horrendous conditions. (if you did not see this program, please check it out on BBC iplayer) I don't know if it's because this situation is obviously just wrong or because I can relate to making clothes on a personal level but it has absolutely infuriated me to no end. As my mum and I sat stunned, Panorama uncovered sweatshop after sweatshop of small children and young adults working back breaking hours to fulfill our selfish western culture with the material possessions we 'need' to make ourselves feel good.
With Primark adopting a code of conduct and ethical strategy whilst all this was going on, it really makes me question how much trust can be put into the places we buy things, code of conduct or not. What can we believe and how can we stop this? How can we shop in places that we can be sure are paying these people a good wage? As discussed within last nights program, boycott is not the answer as it will put people out of work. So how can we show places like Primark that yes, we want to shop with you but not until things change, that it's more of a dissapointment that anything else that you have duped customers with false ethical values and how can you show that you are being fair?
I'm going to stop myself before I go on a colossal rant with facts and figures, quotes and statistics and just simply leave a few links for anyone interested to have a look into. I will be making a section on my site and blog and documenting any findings, books and programs about these issues and also links to cool ethical companies for some education.
All products in this photo and beyond which have been purchased in Primark will be for sale on ebay as a bundle with the profit going to War on want.
Blood sweat and Tshirts BBC 3 series
BBC panorama Primark episode
Primarks right to respond to BBC panorama
War on want: Sweatshop labour: