I would risk salmonella for a juicy, ripe tomato right now.  Tomatoes remind me of Brent and what he lied to me about.  Actually, he didn’t lie.  He joked.

And guys, let’s talk about being green.  I’m not talking about the colour.  I’m talking eco-friendly.

First, I need to introduce you to The Body Shop.  I experienced this lovely store for the first time yesterday while I was at Short Pump Town Center with Divya.  It was BEAUTIFUL not only because of the causes they support (animal rights, human rights, protecting the planet), but because they also filled my crazy francophile need for French.  Their products have French names under the English name and there’s even a beautiful, BEAUTIFUL canvas bag with their missions in French on one side and in English on the other.  While I am normally against buying bags because I can make my own in a jiffy for a fraction of the price (or sometimes free), I would have bought that bag if I’d had money because I believe a certain amount was to be donated to a good cause.  I cannot find it on the interwebs, though.

Oh, and look at this.

Moving elsewhere through the mall, which is the most fucking ridiculously pretentious mall I’ve ever been to (and it’s five minutes away from my old home and I would like to call it a ridiculous waste of land because ten years ago, there was a forest there), we came across Delia’s.  Half of the t-shirts in Delia’s are green-inspired and honestly, I don’t know how I feel about that.

For example, I think this shirt is kind of cute.

You know, at first glance.  But then when you think about it, this dinosaur shirt is an exclusive club.  You have to be vegetarian to wear it or else you’re a hypocrite.  And I’ve been against those sorts of shirts since my elementary school days, when Limited Too had sports shirts and shorts and I fit into none of the categories they provided because I was a bookworm, not an athlete goddamnit.  Also, you’re taking credit for being vegetarian.  You are advertising, “I am a better person than you are because I do not eat animals.  Street cred.”  But you don’t see “vegan” shirts at Delia’s, probably because veganism is a bit too radical.

Then you get into their other green shirts.  You’ve got Snoopy, arguably my favourite comic character, lounging on top of his dog house, and underneath, it says, “Save our planet.”  Horton sticks in his head to remind us that “every voice counts.”  A shirt proclaims, “Make art not war.”  There’s this Omni Peace 2025 tee shirt with Africa posing as a hand, and there are fingers forming a peace sign above it.

I have grown to dislike the exploitation of cartoon characters.  Well, good cartoon characters like Snoopy, where the creators are dead and can’t prevent the exploitation.  Snoopy probably doesn’t give much of a shit about saving the planet, and Horton doesn’t care whether or not we vote.

As for “make art not war,” AGREED AGREED AGREED, but fuck, if you’re so artistic and creative, make your own fucking shirt.  Don’t buy it from a store that may use sweatshops (“Made in USA” does not necessarily mean what you think it does–look at all the islands our country “owns” out yonder in the Pacific).

Omni Peace 2025 is a cool shirt, too, but again, child labour and…how many people who shop at Delia’s are educated enough to know about the child labour thing and the situation in Africa?  I’d be willing to bet NOT MANY because they can buy their clothes elsewhere.

My sister, for example, who owns this shirt, is all about “peace and love and no dramaramamama” around her friends, but at home she is a belligerent person and she knows nothing at all about Africa.  She would probably have a fairly difficult time locating it on a globe.  She doesn’t give a shit about Omni Peace 2025.  She bought the shirt probably because one of her friends said they thought it was “cute.” In fact, she probably doesn’t even know that it’s promoting Omni Peace 2025.  She probably doesn’t even realize it’s Africa.

I’m not saying I’m more intelligent than she is, but when I say I support a cause, I do.  And I research it thoroughly until I’m fairly well-informed, and then I attempt to inform other people.  It’s just hard to inform people about animal rights or child labour or anything without it being against their will, because they are so unwilling to admit that they are at fault, even if I’m just trying to help them change their ways.  And when it is voluntary, when they do ask, I can’t make a lasting impression on them.

And Rachael, mysisterRachael, bought a peace-sign necklace from American Eagle recently, thinking she was so awesome and hip, but what she didn’t know is that the necklace part is made of leather and she probably paid close to ten dollars for it, which is so not awesome and not hip.

As much as I love Urban Outfitters, too, “Made in India” is not for me, and I’m surprised how many supposedly hip people go in there to buy aesthetically pleasing clothes and don’t realize that.

I mean, I’m fucking guilty, guilty as the next person, maybe more so depending on who you are, but at least I’m willing to change.  And here’s the thing:  This “green” movement has got to inform people better.  I like where it’s started, but it needs to expand.  It shouldn’t just encourage them to buy hypocritically green shirts.  It’s got to make them think about the welfare of others.  I’m not just talking about future generations, because even that is a fairly selfish motivation.  I mean that we have to reach out to the people around us who are still alive today.  People and animals.  You would like to think we’re all so different, but we have more in common than you’d know, and we could have more in common if you’d just stop and think and listen and go a bit out of your way right now to find out some new tidbits of information.

Since I got here on Saturday, I’ve been having regrets about consenting to go to college in Richmond, where drivers are assholes and everyone hates you automatically until you do something nice for them.  I love Lewisburg because it’s quaint and people are kind and you make friends fairly rapidly (I say that because moving to Richmond in second grade made me a depressed lump of lard because I had no friends, as opposed to moving to Lewisburg, which made me a happy lump of lard because I have friends).  But now, I’m thinking that Richmond might need someone with the insight of a small-town person, so maybe I shouldn’t be as scared as I am.  No, I didn’t fit in with the fashionable beautiful people at Rilo Kiley.  But I guess I hope I never do, because then I’d lose my mission and I would be blissfully ignorant.  Can you backtrack from enlightenment?  I don’t think you can.

But guys, if you come across places you like that don’t use sweatshops, hit me up in the comments and I will check them out and write about them.  Expect a post on the Wombats soon.


6 Comments so far
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i had never heard of the omni 2025 movement before you just mentioned it. then i googled it. i thought the shirt was just promoting peace in africa, as opposed to all the shittacular things going on there right now. yet what can i really do wearing a shirt like that here? it’d be one thing to stick up signs and wear shirts and protest IN AFRICA but that isn’t likely to happen considering i have no way to get there and if i did go and do that i might get shot but isn’t that what believing in a cause is truly about? so the getting shot thing should essentially not bother me. which i’m fine with. because i would get shot cause those countries don’t have free speech. and even so, they say that we have free thought and free speech and all that but in reality we really aren’t that free at all. according to sandra, communist yugoslavia was more free than this here current US of A. which jumbles up everything i’ve ever thought, except, i’ve known for a while that the US really isn’t very free. but at least we can speak our minds and not be gunned down by the government, or denied relief aid, or any such thing.
it pisses me off that i have to keep waiting until i can really do anything. i figure, i want a degree in linguistics and in anthropology– both of which could help me get a job at the UN. i could do what i’ve considered forEVER, and be a human rights officer. if anthro counts as a degree in the social sciences. or maybe i could just be a translator for a human rights officer, which would help the cause. i’ve known since mrs.duda asked us to make those booklet things about our goals in life that that’s what i want to do, but i’m supposing even if that doesn’t happen, even if i can’t use my skills to do what i want to do…at least i’ll love what i’m doing even if i end up a professor of linguistics or anthro. ANYWAY BACK TO THE POINT– i’m pissed that i have to wait so long before i can do such a thing.
i find it ridiculous that every time i go shopping, the things that catch my eye the most are things “made in india”. because
1 it gives my mother reason to tell me that i could have gotten the object for a lower price had i actually bought such a thing in india
2 i’m fairly certain it was made through child labor
3 i don’t know how i feel about child labor because if that’s the only way that family is going to earn enough money to live, who am i to say i won’t buy that article of clothing if it was a child who made it?
4 then again if it’s leather i’d barf on it before i bought it.

AND NO YOU CAN’T BACKTRACK FROM ENLIGHTENMENT. if you do, that’s called EEEEVIL. or stupid. or both. neither of which you are.

i want somewhere reputable and sweatshop free. i want to make a friggin’ difference in the world. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH.<==tarzan cry.

Comment by divya

Paige you are awesome. You need to come home soon so we can hang out again. Apart from Philly of course.

Being a small-town girl in a big town/city is a highly underrated thing. It’s nice to enjoy the opportunities large areas have to offer, but it’s even better to keep your morals and ways of thinking.

I’m not really in a thinking/writing mood. I just wanted to tell you this:

We will research REALLY cool stores that are supporting the so-called “green movement” and their clothes are made in the USA. Within the 50 states. And that just sell the cutest things for super cheap. Then we’ll go there while Travis is at this crazy concert. Woo-hoo.

Comment by wellwell

Yay. A penis shaped massager.

Comment by wut?!

I find it ironic that a lot of people who wear those Africa peace t-shirts because it’s the popular/fashionable thing to do are the same people that go on and on about how the war in Iraq is so horrible and we need to withdraw immediately simply because that is the fashionable/popular position. They could care less that us leaving Iraq would send the country into a genocidal civil war similar to the genocide in the Sudan that all advocate for intervention over. Their taking up the “Save Africa” banner or the “Bush Sucks, Leave Iraq” banner doesn’t stem from a set of beliefs in human rights, but from the fact that the other people are doing it. I’m really disliking sheeple today.

It’s nice to see some people are familiar with the issues surrounding their cause before they go around wearing t-shirts and talking about it.

The child labor issue is very complex. I doubt anything with “Made In USA” was made by children in a sweatshop, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good buy. Like you said, it can be made in a place like Samoa or Puerto Rico where labor regulations are much more lax than here, but the big thing for me is the factories lined up on the US/Mexico border. A lot of them hire migrant workers who work for next to nothing in horrible conditions and move on after a few weeks. Like I said, I doubt there are very many children, but I still don’t like it. The sad thing is that you can never truly know unless you watch everything being made or make everything yourself, something nobody has the time, money, or patience for.

I have to say, anybody who cares so much about animal rights and the environment that they have to go vegan (something I don’t have anywhere near the willpower for) must be very passionate about those causes. You should try to inject some of that passion into your apathetic sister. You’re already setting a good example for her. I don’t know how old or mature she is, but I’d bet that around the same time she realizes that doing what the group is doing isn’t so important she’ll start feeling passionate about her own causes.

Comment by asdfjkl;

I love the related posts section!
“Who will La Lohan be sitting next to at the MTV Movie Awards?”
“Charlie Weiss Press Conference Transcript”
It’s not all bad though. The likability one is interesting. I bet you’d like a lot of the folks in Richmond to follow a few of the tips in “Meeting New People”.

Comment by asdfjkl;

I must admit, all the shirts you mentioned are ones I have looked at and have been thinking about purchasing. The Omni Peace 2025 is one of the ones I really liked….Hm.
Maybe I’ll just go buy a bunch of white t-shirts and draw my own designs. Could be a new summer project….
Thanks for reminding me to just be aware of what I’m dealing with.

Comment by Megan

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