Monday, April 24, 2017

April 24th is Fashion Revolution Day

A problem

The slogan posted on the Fashion Revolution site is "Be curious. Find out. Do something." When we are handed a new piece of information, we can choose to react in different ways. We might be able to blend it into our existing model of how the world works. We can refuse to believe it. Or we might have to shift a paradigm to allow it to make sense. And once we accept an idea, we need to act on it.

Fashion Revolution Day, for the past four years, has marked the anniversary of the Rana Plaza tragedy in Bangladesh. Something else happened less than ten days ago, that seems to evoke the same "that's so not fair but what can I do about it?" reaction. That's if you even heard about it on the news.

Sri Lanka Death Toll Rises in Garbage Dump Collapse

An explosion in the dump on Friday afternoon caused a portion of the mound to collapse, sweeping scores of houses off their foundations and burying others, trapping residents inside. Survivors described hearing a loud noise and running outside to see nearby dwellings rushing in their direction on a tide of debris, surrounded by smoke.
A team of geological investigators, who have been gathering evidence at the dump, believe that the explosion occurred when methane naturally produced by decaying waste ignited, Mr. Kodippili said.
Residents of the working-class neighborhoods around the dump had complained for years of reeking water flooding through their narrow lanes, where it collected during the hottest months of the year, providing a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
A similar thing happened last month in Ethiopia. 

Living...and then a mountain of collapsing garbage sounds like it should be one of Dante's levels of hell. Who's at fault? Who made all that garbage? What combination of reasons forces people to live there? Is that shocking enough to inspire a paradigm shift?

A solution

Do you remember the very last scene, as those who were exiled from a toxic, dirty Earth finally returned?

Let's grow some pizza plants.

I'm serious.

Anybody can go buy stuff. Anybody can throw stuff in the trash (and our family has certainly created our own share lately, cleaning out this house). To restore what is broken, we have to think differently. But we also have to start with one small, positive action. Planting a seed. Looking for "less is more." Vlogging about your favourite old piece of clothing instead of buying something new (that's what some people are doing for Fashion Revolution Day).

I don't have a big solution. But I do believe that a lot of small ones add up.

Birds and Vines wall hanging, made in Haiti from a discarded metal oil drum (Ten Thousand Villages)

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