Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!
Today, I have had the privilege of reading about Dr. King’s strong belief in economic justice. He fought for equality for workers and individuals living in poverty. So, how are you honoring MLK today? I am buying underwear. (It is well-known, now that I am a blogger, I can make obscure connections between myself and great American leaders.)
About 7 years ago, during college, I became interested in worker’s rights and modern day slavery. I wanted to do my part, so I decided to only buy clothing “made in the U.S.A.”. This really helped to curb my shopping habit (I was a bit of a sale-rack junkie), because American made clothing is hard to find. And once you find some, it is EXPENSIVE!
So, I made some loopholes for myself that I still use today:
- On top of clothing made in the USA, I can also buy anything I want if it’s second hand or fair trade. I figure buying fair trade supports a positive world-wide labor movement, and buying second hand doesn’t really support anything (except the local business).
- I also don’t attempt to control what gifts others give me, so I happily accept imported Christmas/Birthday gifts. When people remember my quirk and get me American made, I am extra excited.
- When I can’t find a clothing item at a reasonable price, and need to cheat, I buy from a local business. For example, I feel uncomfortable buying bras online (where I do most USA made shopping), so I recently bought some bras from Kiss and Make-Up in Richmond. Kiss and Make-up does sell a few US brands.
Because of these loopholes, a majority of my wardrobe is not from the U.S. Now that I am working and able to afford more American made clothing, I want to change that. My most current hunt: underwear! (Which I quickly learned is a bad search term – stores use “panties”.) I started off on Google and found Lingerie Addict has a great listing of lingerie made in the U.S.A. I also searched the big box online stores like amazon.com and herroom.com for “Made in the USA panties”. On top of the lingerie addict listing here are some other brands I found:
- http://www.gaiam.com/ (some items are imported)
I wound up buying three thongs on sale from Bella Materna, and two 3-packs of Uranus boy shorts. I would love to try the brand “Commando”, but the price tag is a little steep for me. My total came to $79.30 for 9 pairs of panties, which is more than I would spend Wal-Mart, but on par with a Victoria Secret sales receipt. Both companies import their clothing and have been chastised for child labor and extremely low wages. So, I may not be changing the world this MLK day, but I know there is power in money. I want want to spend my money where workers are safer and better paid. Most importantly, I will let you know how I like my new underwear when they arrive!