Ethical Buying- the iPhone Suicides

After the Dispatches feature on UK sweatshops supplying clothes for the High Street, the average consumer is more conscientious of where their good are coming from. Primark were amongst one of the High Street shops that had to redeem their reputation of being a fair employer and for not exploiting their employees. It’s led to the influx of fairtrade goods on sale in supermarkets, as awareness grew.

But how about the electronics industry. The same trend is happening now, where the cost of production is reducing to meet the growing demand for phones, computer, games consoles- anything electronic that uses a microprocessor. To obviously make this technology affordable for everyone, cost cutting exercises have to be made somewhere.

And this is when Foxconn, a subordinate company of Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry comes under scrutiny. With 13 suicides, nets in place and 100 mental health workers now places on site there is definitely a question of abuse of human rights when looking at the working conditions in Foxconn.

However, the suicide rate is roughly 17 for every 100,000 people. The highest estimate of employees working in Longhua, Shenzhen is 450,000 people therefore lower than the suicide rate in China. Although suicide does occur, it is well within the national rate and does not conclude that Foxconn are absuing their employees.

This leads me on to sweatshops, and unethical working conditions. This is going to be rather a high-level comment on the issue and I will return to this at a later date. But we should really consider the alternative of no work in which will imply no money for the employees of these sweatshops. The implementations of not having any income is worst when the standard of living is so low. What does irritate me however, is the fact that a piece of clothing that make have cost around a pound to produce is sold for £20 minimum, which is 2000% mark up and £19 profit. Profiteering so much as a trade off to someone else’s well being is beyond greed. Personally I’m happy to pay £20 as long as I know the person made it was paid at least minimum wage.

We should generally learn that buying local and producing locally is the best way to ensure that all employees and consumers are treated fairly, and all transactions remain as transparent as possible by all parties.

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Trolling Through Brightonian Shops- Promenade Article (Sussex Uni Fashion Magazine)

Promenade December Edition:

Any Brightonian knows that if you want any type of clothing under the sun, North Laines is your destination. Indeed it depends on what tickles your fancy but I always end up in the same shops everytime I go there. Of course there’s the guilty pleasure in the form of Cyberdog- the shop that really you go in, think the outfits are brilliant but I will never wear that or I want to dye my hair that UV colour for a night out and that vulgar idea is abandoned once you leave back into the threshold of normality. Then there’s To Be Worn Again, two of them to be precise as well as Beyond Retro, which is equivalent to rummaging through your once-was hipster grandmother’s attic for something that you might want to wear.

I seek my attire in the boutique stores. I do admit I do own clothing purchased from the High Street but with my concern with who and how the clothes are made, I personally think buying clothes from independent, locally owned shops is the way forward. You are, in essence, supporting your local economy as well. On that note: my two picks of this issue.

Pretty Vacant
11/12 Trafalgar Street
http://www.vacantclothing.co.uk/index.html

The shop does look pricey from the front, which deteriorates any motivation for a skint student to venture in. However real bargains are to be found. With their discounted winter range, you can grab a casual dress for less than £30. Woollens are also a good shout right now, a jumper which is normally retailed for £40 is going for £20. There is also a 10% student discount (I NEED TO CHECK AGAIN!) for all non-discounted items.

Sugarhill Boutique

http://www.sugarhillboutique.com/

This was one of the first shops I went into when I moved to Brighton last term. As a Fresher and having lived in Asia for a long time, it was great to see an abundance of beautiful clothes to filter though which I could afford for once. Again something I haven’t been able to do in this country. I found an amazing dress for only £25 in November, discounted from £65. I constantly going in to this shop to find another bargain, which is an easy find especially with their £10 or less display at the back; but with my student loan gradually depleting it is just window shopping for me.

The Hunt for Winter

The Blue Brick | Inspired Yarns

This is the winter that wasn’t. At least, here in TO it wasn’t. We’re not used to this total lack of winter and last weekend Tito and I drove out in search of ice and snow because, dammit, we miss it. We ended up heading north into Parry Sound – as a bonus the northern lights made a surprise appearance!

We passed a frozen lake covered in skidoo tracks. It reminded me of a cute story my dad told me about coming to Canada in 1972. He had worked in India as a motorcycle repairman, so when he moved to Ottawa he looked for the same kind of work. Finally he got his first job in Canada. He showed up on his first day and they took him to his first job and it was … a skidoo. He stared blankly at it for a few minutes before looking at…

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