The recent collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh killed more than 1,100 people; the eight-storey building housed five garment factories where workers earned a paltry £25 per month.
The exploitative practices of the world’s largest fashion labels are once more in the news, reminding us of the true cost of our £1.99 t-shirts and leggings.
Luckily, those altruistic and compassionate folk at H&M, Primark, Zara, C&A and Tesco, recently signed up to a legally binding agreement to help finance fire safety and building improvements in their Bangladeshi factories. What a PR hit. I’m sure they were all enthusiatic signatories.
Will you now feel more at ease when you slip a new bra in your basket alongside your bacon? Can you park your conscience’s disapproval when you buy 5 pairs of pants for £2.50? The answer, I’m certain, is yes. Despite all that we know of the less- than- adequate working conditions in the textile factories of India, Bangladesh and the Philippines, these unsettling facts are quickly dismissed if we can grab a bargain. After all, the children grow so quickly, there’s little point in paying more than a fiver for a new pair of shoes. We do not need to think about the 11-year old child working her malnourished fingers to the bone crafting the appliques on your daughter’s new sequinned pumps.
Ignorance is bliss, sure. But why? Why do we not want to hear or see anything that will knock our equilibrium or challenge our status quo?
For example, we are learning more about the toxic effects of sugar; a recent report calls for high-sugar products to be labelled with warnings, like cigarettes and alcohol. But most of us are still content to ignore ALL scientific, medical and nutritional advice (and common sense) that sugar is killing us. Pass me a digestive, this is depressing me.
We know that our drinking water is perfectly safe (well, actually, this is now debateable), but British consumers spend £1.5 billion on bottled water annually and the majority of the used bottles are lobbed in landfill or shipped to foreign and far away dumps. Excellent, as least we can’t see the problem.
We also know that most cosmetic, beauty and household products (to mention a few) were tested on animals. Testing that subjects small animals to a short life of daily torture. Yet, who isn’t guilty of buying 2 for 1 bottles of Elvive? Can’t afford the organic alternative? How many times do you say that?
I do get sick of people pleading poverty and exclaiming they can’t afford this or that but they can afford a monstrous multi-pack of crisps, four bottles of cherryade, 2 jars of Marshmallow fluff and all the other shite Asda throws at its customers for a quid. Who cares what fragranced toiler cleaner was rubbed into a guinea-pig’s eye this morning; at least my family can chow down on their family-sized Cheddars tonight!
We know we need to move more, eat less, drink more, smoke less, help more, take less, so why don’t we?
My husband has just reminded me that this blog is supposed to be about writing, so why am I banging on about our lazy human race?
Now I need to make a seamless link from ignorance and laziness to writing my book……
Easily remedied. I know that I need to complete chapter whatever instead of writing this blog. I know I need to finish my article on sound therapy instead of searching for free Disney apps. I know I need to call Red magazine instead of choosing paint colours for my daughter’s wendy house. And I know I shouldn’t have eaten six Oreos to fuel this procrastination.
I know what needs to be done, so why the hell aren’t I doing it? The painful but truthful answer is that I have been lazy, just like the woman with the trolley load of ready-meals and Waggon Wheels.
It’s the start of a new week, so it’s time to raise my game! Here’s to writing 40,000 words by Friday.
Disclaimer: For the sake of good order, these blog posts are rarely serious. They are deliberately ironic. I won’t judge you for eating two jars of marshmallow fluff before breakfast.