People who know me, know I have a serious dress habit! Whatever the occasion I need a new dress for it, preferably one that is unique, colourful and that reflects my personality. To my shame there was a period of a few years when I wouldn’t be photographed wearing the same dress. How wasteful…and expensive!
Then I watched the TV documentary ‘Stacey Dooley Investigates Fashion’s Dirty Secrets’ and I was shocked to learn how my fashion choices were damaging the environment. That chemicals in the clothes dying process was polluting rivers and poisoning the people who lived near the factories. Looking deeper I learned about the people making the clothes and how my need for fast, cheap fashion could be having a brutal impact on people’s lives, keeping them in poverty. I was forced to ask myself if what I wore actually reflected my Christian values.
And it isn’t just what we wear. Does the food and drink we buy lift people up or does it keep them in poverty? What happens to the packaging? Does what we buy support repressive regimes? Was this new furniture made from sustainable wood or does it come from a rainforest? So many ethical questions to consider...
I will admit still have a bit of a dress habit but I’m buying a lot less. I’m trying now to pick pieces that I can get a lot of wear out of. I’m trying to buy second hand, vintage and recycled clothes. I’m trying to think of how I can be a mindful consumer.
Lord of all creation
There are so many questions for us consumers to ask and consider.
Ignorance is not an excuse and we don’t live in isolation.
As Psalm 82 highlights injustice lies at the doors of all of us.
There is power in how we choose to spend our money.
Speak to me today Lord
and challenge my shopping habits and consumer choices.
How can the choices I make as a consumer help fight injustice,
protect the planet
and give dignity to my brothers and sisters around the world?
1 God presides in the heavenly council;
in the assembly of the gods he gives his decision:
2 “You must stop judging unjustly;
you must no longer be partial to the wicked!
3 Defend the rights of the poor and the orphans;
be fair to the needy and the helpless.
4 Rescue them from the power of evil people.
5 “How ignorant you are! How stupid!
You are completely corrupt,
and justice has disappeared from the world.
6 ‘You are gods,’ I said;
‘all of you are children of the Most High.’
7 But you will die like mortals;
your life will end like that of any prince.”
8 Come, O God, and rule the world;
all the nations are yours.