Filed under: Barrels of Fun, My Experience with Existence | Tags: Africa, clothing, Delia's, Green, Lewisburg, Omni Peace, Richmond, Rilo Kiley, shopping, Short Pump, The Body Shop, Tomato, Urban Outfitters
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.
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.
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