Fast Fashion: A Killer At Your Consumer Hands

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory: this is a name and significant date I hope you already know.

New York factory that caught fire, burned and killed 129 people that day in 1911. Not only was the building in flames but doors were locked and hoses kept to extinguish the blaze, valves rusted shut (no worry, the owners escaped with their lives.) The date is infamous, printed in history books to nerver forget the loss of our own but most importantly it sparked labor reform that continues to effect job affairs in the US today.

Occurring on March 25, 1911

That was 129 unnecessary deaths.

What if it’d been 1,135 dead? What if it happened now? What if it already did?

And no reform followed? (If it weren’t our people, but our product would it matter? It should.)

Disturbing, right? Enough questions. In 2013 manufacturer of American clothing was undergoing production in Bangladesh, India when the factory collapsed. Not only did 1,135 die that day, another couple thousand were injured. Insane just years past the date and some are hearing of this for the very first time. I’m not shaming you for that – I merely found out myself, upset that I’d never before learned of it’s happening.

Rana-Plaza

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Triangle Shirtwaist Factory: you might know.

Rana Plaza: I’m going to take an educated guess and say you don’t. But we all should – nearly 8x as many people died that day in 2013.

No laws revised. Certainly no reform. No history significantly shifted (unlike Triangle Shirtwaist with almost 1/8 the casualties). Why’d absolutely nothing stop, change? People continue to be taken by this industry, often in factories in Bangladesh running so poorly even today, by means of the American dollar (or lack there of). Go ahead, do a Google search right now and I’ll wait – there was a factory fire killing 31 innocent lives not seven months ago, in September of 2016. This mass loss of life is a goddamn catastrophe barely reprimanded.

Recognize there is an issue (Step one), next…

What can you do? I’m sure most would simply feel disenfranchised and resume life untouched by this, the people in India are not so lucky. Don’t buy into it. Be a conscious consumer: think about where your clothes come from, maybe research it first (because I’m sure you’d feel uncomfortable, at the very least, knowing someone died making your t-shirt). Acknowledge that hands touched the clothing on your back, hand’s whom your garment wouldn’t come into creation without. Everything you buy has a story in it’s process of coming to be. Every time you buy, you make a decision to support a company and their values with the monetary value of your dollar; you then own those purchased values, taking them into your home even. Boycotting, done by our ancestors, is concept still secure and relevant. Learn from the past – you think it’s not yours but it is – since it’s the only way to move forward.

How’d I get caught in all this? I watched a movie – I know sounds laughable or foolish but I’m really only in the offset of all this. My words might mean nothing to you but if you do anything at all watch The True Cost by director, Andrew Morgan. It might alter you some real way, positively.

Important to watch: The True Cost

 

About the images: none of the photos used are my own but merely a product of google search.

 

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The Existing Epidemic Of Sexual Assault on College Campuses

So here’s a heavy topic:

The Existing Epidemic Of Sexual Assault on College Campuses

(watch! : on Netflix)

Freshman year is labeled as true entrance into the world as an individual. We’re all around the ripe age of 18: new experience has swallowed whole our lives and turned reality. After graduation, we’re given best wishes, vaguely told of the wonderful newness and forgettable adventures moving forward. Mix of emotions defines this point in our lives. One prominent topic is left under discussed or for-warned: rape on campus.

The word sends chills down my damn spin. Entering second semester of freshman year, two close friends of mine were sexually assaulted. These disturbing acts corrupted chaos into these girls’ lives and was internalized by all those around with pleasure of knowing them personally. It altered my entire experience (& perception of my 1st year) and is a deeply-felt heaviness in my heart always I’ll carry. The most selfless time in my life – despite the absolute horridness of the experience, it was forced maturity with insane personal growth.

Attached above is a research paper I wrote (as a freshman undergraduate) out of my exposure to this national, even international, issue. The type of thing you don’t think can happen that is until it happens to you or someone you love. To believe it’s not occurring in your community or one near you is blindly ignorant. To create awareness and open eyes to some of my own understanding on the topic of college sexual assault, I encourage clicking on links above: my research paper (written during my experiences as a freshman) and if you’re not much of a reader -it’s only 10 pages though – a really kickass documentary.

This occurs so much broader than just the Brock Turner case.

Please further investigate these topics; I cannot emphasize enough.

Since you’re well aware of my appreciation for quotes, here’s some from my friends, anonymously named.

Do you feel safe?

Victim A: “It’s scary that you have to watch over your back every single day and every single minute because you’re worried.”

Victim B: “One hundred percent no, they made it worse honestly because they didn’t do anything.”

Victim A: “Someone can come up from behind you, and you do not know what any one of us is capable of.”

Victim B: “…he jokingly called me a victim… I [even] had to go to UP myself after it happened [instead of them coming to me.]”

Do you feel justice was established in your case?

Victim A: “No, I mean I was pretty much forced to leave campus; meanwhile this kid can simply walk around here free.”

“They didn’t offer me any services here. They just told me to deal with it and help myself.”

“It’s not fair and it’s not right that we basically have to walk on glass and eggshells here because we’re all worried what will actually be done and what won’t.”

When leaving your visit with University Police, what’s the last thing said to reassure you?

Victim B: “Good luck.Oh yeah, reassured that I’ll have to protect myself. I [now] walk around with pepper spray.”

 

Note: I no longer attend this school which is in-part why I disclose this.

Information on the header image: Columbia University Mattress Protest in 2014-2015. Not my image.

The Moment: Embrace Accident Encounters

Ever stumble into experience unassumingly pretty damn wild, so much so that post-thought leaves wonder of how you ever could’ve gone living without said encounter? Only if you’re lucky (enough to realize it.)

Recall a recent date: January 21st (day of Donald Trump’s being sworn in as President of the United States / Women’s Marches nationwide)

Where were you?

Me? Tripping, last minute, into the streets of New York for a new pair of glasses frames – no really, it was the last day of break before going back to college, mind you. Warby Parker, store where I was planning to make my purchase, was conveniently located 89 E 42nd St, better known: Grand Central Station.

I (and a friend of mine) were unintentionally located internally within the heart of the march, a thoroughly crowded and at times frustrating, happy accident. One of the most positive vibes of any event is if majority eye contact you meet  – in NY at that – greet your glance with a friendly smirk and maybe show of teeth. Unity by common cause can do that. People in a city defined by diversity brought together strongly. Hosted in a place so tightly packed, cause for physical touching, nearly whole body pressed to one or more people in some spots on the street – you may(not) know the avenue but far more crowded than ordinary day. Each individual body creating a sea looking to be a single mass with one voice strongly heard, strongly felt. How great is New York (statement, not to be questioned.)

We walked for blocks and blocks east to allow some breathing room spaced from the masses; I did not stop seeing protestors till after crossing a waterway, stepping off the subway in Brooklyn. Even when hopping back onto the subway, we’d see protestors occasionally return. Faces tired and worn by a day long-lived but noticeably elated in appearance, amusingly empowered.

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New York, New York // 1/31/17 // NYPL (New York Public Library)

 

Amidst walk back to catch a bus at Port Authority was noticeable crowding near Bryant Park on sidewalks of the Public Library. Maybe not so uncharacteristic, much less unusual for NYC but I was drawn nonetheless. Crossing the street, I saw through empty slices between legs of pedestrians, layers of bright signage and poster board paper with felt-tip marker hand-drawn inscriptions camouflaging sidewalk concrete. Aftermath of the day’s events intentionally placed in reminder of their earlier and existing protestor presence. So yes, I missed my bus just to stare at the sights for awhile but unregrettably.

Returning home, full house greeted with questions of my day; the parade, a sore subject which I heard eluding from the living room T.V., sounding news reel spewing bias, personal opinion, and generalizations. My Grandma who’d sat stationed inside for the day, prompted she’d no idea the point of the march. I imagine she thought, people wasting away their finality of time. Smiling politely, I thought this is a woman unexposed to the allures of what my eyes saw today – experience indescribable if not experienced first-hand by one’s self.

Undoubtably, you’ve already been flooded with images of marches nationwide but the most honest images do no justice for events unlike human experience, first-hand. I encourage and wholly endorse attending events for causes you care about. No, I may have not consciously sought out the parade but was glad to find myself there.

Additionally, let it be known that the primary intent of this post is definitely unpolitical if read closely. This is putting viewpoints aside, though I don’t discount those for voicing their own, it is simply beside the focus of this post (at least not the main theme/purpose of content here.)

 

Title explained // why am I creating this blog

Hemingway. You’ve read, I’m hoping (at the very least you’ve heard of his beyond recognizable name)? If you’ve happened to skim the last page of The Sun Also Rises, you might just recognize my website title as the final line: “‘Yes.’ I said. ‘Isn’t it pretty to think so,'” followed by the words center page, “The End.” Jake, the narrator, is responding to his somewhat tragic and disfunctional love for Brett after she states how nice it’d if they were together. Some context: Jake and Brett love one another emotionally though can never physically be together sexually due to Jake’s war-induced wound. Yes, I find this all rather interesting but I was thinking along the lines teetering a bit more abstract (let’s say it’s in the name of Hem himself.)

I’m no Hemingway literature junkie, he’s not my all-prided favorite author but I must say I harbor enormous respect for him and his talent. To explain, more so I was inspired by the final line than taking it at it’s face value.

“Isn’t it pretty to think so.”

I, and as I suspect many of you, have pictured up some lucid idea of what something, anything, is and often inaccurately. To give an example, college, this mental image you have stored away could never be mimicked precisely down to every detail in reality, simply unrealistic. It’s a lesson age-old, reality rarely meets expectation. I think this quotation serves as an anchoring principle to ground oneself in reality. It might be “pretty,” nice, inaccurate, and easiest to think of something only as you do – to opt to maintain your imagined image over it’s real life honest self but it’s backed in falsities. Living so caught up in own’s head where the world before them cannot nearly compete with it’s more perfectly conjured mental image is a vain existence. Simpler terms? Stay real. In perceptions and experience of life, do not stay believing that the world need be as you think it ought to or as some media sources tells you it ought to. It is what it is. Embrace the world as it’s true self in your true self.

Recently I received an assignment to start a story with the last line of another; so here, is my story, my blog story.

So. Boom. Just like that this blog was created. Why ?

“Ms.Indecisive of life,” a quotation from my own life, out of my father’s mouth. Yes, that’s me. I’m characterized by indecision and far too many interests to narrow down to a sole liking – but I’ve been told maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe so. I’m using this space to bring everything to a single space in high hopes of narrowing down my major interests that I should admit great focus to. We’ll see how this goes, for now it’s simply a test run.

***I didn’t take snapshot that header photo of Hem, that’s be pretty dope though.