Friday, July 18, 2008

Outfit with Purpose #4: Seeing green.

I guess this is my "ethical consumerism" set, except that of course the most ethical way to consume is to consume less. If you already have a dozen bags, it's better to refrain than to purchase even a reusable bag made from recycled materials by unionised workers. Telling yourself that it's good to support a socially and environmentally conscious business is just cheating, really -- if that business is seriously dedicated to those causes, then it won't participate in the relentless marketing of ... inessential items. Unfortunately most ethical manufacturers are in the business of producing luxuries, anyway -- soaps, socks, notebooks, wallets -- the sort of things you buy people you don't know very well as gifts. But the trend seems to be more about wearing your good green heart on your sleeve than rethinking your life to reduce its overall impact.

Nevertheless, there's charm in trying, and probably less harm in a pair of organic hemp, recycled tire tread shoes than my grumpy mind likes to imagine.

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