Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Price, Cost, Value, Worth {7 for 31}

This month I'm writing a new post each day about my own version of Jen Hatmaker's 7 experiment. For more posts and an introduction, head hereToday's 7 topic is spending.
As a side note, if modesty, gender, or other compulsion or conviction means you'll be uncomfortable reading my thoughts on a pair of underwear, now's your chance to stop reading.


I bought a new pair of underwear today. It cost $17, and while being fairly cute, it certainly isn't in the slinky-silky category. Just practical bikini-cut cotton, the same kind I could find in a 5 pack at Walmart for half the price.

But it isn't the same. Ladies, pull a pair of panties out of your drawer and take a good, hard look at them. Even the simplest styles are made from a lot of little pieces - the least-plain pair that I own is made up of 15 tiny parts, the simplest, 7. This is not something that can be made by a machine - a live human being has to sit down and do it with their own two hands. And unless otherwise noted, that human being is underpaid, if paid at all, for their labor. The next time you see hot lingerie advertised in a window at the mall, think sweatshop not sexy.

I seized third trimester hip spread and its detrimental effect on already worn elastic waistbands to slowly invest in ethical replacements from Pact. "Slowly" because the price of fair trade items is higher - but knowing that it's ethically manufactured is worth it to me, and it's manageable at one pair per pay period, with reductions in other areas (that chocolate bar that's tempting me at the register probably isn't ethically obtained anyway).

Slave-free shopping can be hard on a budget, and there's a reason that slavery still exists: we support it, not realizing that many of our bargains are costing people their humanity. But combining ethical purchases with moderation combats consumerism on every level, and helps alleviate the expense (really, do we need a whole drawer full of underwear?) - and reorganizing our budgets can also help reorganize our priorities, shifting our focus from convenience and consumerism to compassion and restoration, from ourselves to others, from a personal perspective to a global one.


The price may be higher, but is the cost of supporting those who don't value basic human rights worth it for a "bargain"?
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6 comments:

Susan Shipe said...

I would really like to see a picture of those $17 cottons!!!!

Anna said...

what an important article, Sarah! I wish more people would read it. and that more people would truly care...

Amanda said...

I worked at Victoria's Secret throughout college, so I really got a kick out of reading your post for today!

Melissa Boles said...

This is so great! I am definitely going to have to check out Pact. Thanks for sharing!

gracefilledgrowth.com said...

Very interesting topic, and something I have never thought about to be honest! Good information and food for thought. May have to do some more research.

Kristi Atkinson said...

I was just looking at Fair Trade underwear the other day. And when I saw the price I thought, maybe I should just make me own. So I headed to Pinterest and there are a ton of plans out there… But…I'm not in desperate need so I have done neither so far, haha.

I love this though.