We are not paying “The True Cost” #fashionrevolution

On the 24th of April 2013, 1138 people died and 2500 others were injured when an eight-story building with several garment factories inside collapsed.  The Rana Plaza disaster became a tragic illustration of the consequences of fast fashion, largely thanks to the 2015 documentary “The True Cost”.  I urge you to watch it if you haven’t already.

As a result of this disaster a campaign called #fashionrevolution was launched and this week I looked a little bit more into the social and environmental costs of fashion and what we can do to join this revolution.

download.png

While up until the 1980’s it was more common than not to find “Made in New Zealand” on clothing tags – since then, most manufacturing has been outsourced to developing countries.  There are 40 million garment workers in the world, mostly in Bangladesh and China, with some working in substandard physical conditions and many more being exploited – all for the sake of our obsession with cheap fashion.  While the $2 or $3 a day might seem better than the alternative for people in these countries; the constant pressure to produce more clothing for less money is having an impact.  We, in New Zealand are not paying the True cost of our clothing.  The workers are.

dont die for fashion

While pressure continues to provide safe conditions and a living wage for these workers, both in New Zealand and around the world, we are still having to address the fact that fashion is our 2nd biggest polluter after oil.  So, how does fashion impact on our environment?

“The True cost” shared the impact of genetically modified cotton – being intensively farmed and sprayed with Roundup to control pests.  I’m talking large scale – millions of acres of soil being drenched in poison to try to keep up with the demand for fast fashion.  I knew Monsanto was a dirty word – but it wasn’t until I started looking more into it in terms of a cyclical trap for farmers that I realised how significant this is for all of us.  Google it.

After we destroy our soil, air and biodiversity we move to dying textiles with toxic chemicals which not only causes disease and death to workers, but gets into water ways, and the soil they use for food production.   Speaking of water, the 2700 litres required to  produce one t-shirt is a crime in itself, particularly given how many people don’t have access to clean drinking water.

Sustainable-Fashion-Graphic_2.jpg

<Sarcastic tone> But that’s okay because we now have a $5 t-shirt, which is considered disposable.

Clothing has become so cheap that we think nothing when we dispose of it or “donate it” to the op-shop.  But, did you know only 10% of what we donate to op-shops sells in their shop?  The rest is bundled, shipped overseas where they don’t want it either so is incinerated or sent to landfill.  We in New Zealand are not paying the True cost of our clothing.  The environment is.

fast-fashion_baffs_organic-t-shirts_mkg-hamburg

So we, as consumers of cheap fashion find ourselves responsible for a dying planet and exploitation of people.  We need systematic change.  That’s where #fashionrevolution comes in.  Change starts with us. 

This list isn’t exhaustive but here are 5 ways you can do something.

  1.  Shop wisely.  Do you really need it?  Chose quality over quantity, or just say “No”. (Added benefit of being good for your wallet too).
  2. Check out the label.  Tearfund is one of the organisations who have made it easy for us to find out how ethical different brands are.  If a label is an “F” leave it on the rack.  Better yet – send a letter requesting ethical compliance.  If we don’t buy it, they can’t justify making it.
  3. Shop local.  We’ve got so many awesome local designers who you can support that there’s no need to ship in your fashion.
  4. Feel it. Think about what happens at the end of a garments’ life.  Fair trade organic cotton, hemp or wool is good because it can break down naturally, unlike synthetic material.  Another way to look after the environment is to avoid polyester or if you do wear it, wash it when it needs it not after every wear.  Microfibres are getting into our waterways and is now in the fish food cycle. Yuk.
  5. Buy second hand.  It keeps clothes in the cycle longer; stops the need for new clothing to be made and again, saves you money without the exploitative side.

#fashionrevolution is held around the 24th of April each year so we don’t forget the lives of those who died bringing us fast fashion.

Advertisements

Kelli from the Tron Episode 80

On this week’s podcast we’re joined by Ryan Hamilton, newly elected Hamilton City Councillor.  We began by talking about his background, the journey to be elected into the Hamilton City Council and what it’s like stepping into the vacancy left by the late Philip Yeung. I was really pleased to hear him being cognisant of the importance of connecting with the community and his attempts to do so.

During the campaign I found it hard to figure out “what he stood for”; and how he would vote on issues – but humbly, I appreciated his response; which was that as an elected member, they are there to listen with an open mind to what their constituents tell him. You can’t do that if you’ve already stated your intention. So, I’m genuinely looking forward to his contribution during the 10 Year Plan.

IMG_9713 (2).jpg

Then, we have Ashley, one half of the duo False Heights on the phone to tell us about their music, and an upcoming gig at Nivara Lounge on the 21st.

Last but not least we have Phil Grey, from the Hum106.7 in the studio to tell us about an upcoming gig with Graeme Jefferies, Matthew Bannister and Elephant Face.

29513231_1014447178720238_8431686779714221900_n.jpg

Listen to the podcast here.

Kelli from the Tron – Episode 79

On today’s show I talk to Anna Casey-Cox from Go Eco about “Keep Kirikiriroa Hamilton beautiful”; a petition calling for the Hamilton City Council to make the environment a priority in the 10 Year Plan.  You can sign it here.

10 year plan.jpg

I was then joined by Mark Bunting, a Hamilton East City Councillor (and fellow FreeFm Breakfast show host) to hear his views on some of the issues we need to give feedback to Council about.  We discuss growth – including how we can get more housing and services without the sprawl and price tag; central city parking, rates and more.  You can make your submission here.

Music from Half Eaten Pie, Snake Oil Peddlers, Cheshire Grimm and System Corporation.

 

Kelli from the Tron – Episode 78

To kick off the show, I share the brand NEW Skinny Hobos track “Jacked like the Ripper”. They’re in town next Friday with I am Giant, tickets for the Altitude gig available now.

I also share music from The Recently Deceived and The Changing Same.

29543211_1643114332476651_7888206622961419914_n.jpg

With the Hamilton City Council 10 Year Plan consultation open to the public, I ask Angela O’Leary – Hamilton West Councillor on to the show.  We talk finances, VOTR extension, the Peacocke development and conduct of Councillors.  (It’s at 9.52m if you don’t have time to listen to the whole show)

30226496_735578529980466_4522236087468294144_n

I was stoked to have Simon Hirst, local musician on the show to talk about his new album “Feet of God”.  He performed Arohanui, the first song off the album, which is officially released at Nivara Lounge on Saturday the 7th.  If you get to the FreeFM page you can get yourself in the draw for a copy of it!  This interview starts at about 37min.

29791034_1722118971203042_8163983527026623112_n.jpg

So listen in to some real local content! 

Minimum wage not enough

*** Living Wage Aotearoa New Zealand have just announced the reviewed Living Wage Rate for 2018 is $20.55 an hour. ***

20638909_965595596912416_4845339639577598736_n

It all comes down to whether you think someone who works should be able to afford to live a decent life. Living includes not only shelter and food but the ability to participate in their community.

 

#letsgetpolitical

In the Mayor’s 10 Year Plan proposal he sought to bring in a minimum wage for council staff of $20 per hour, effective April 2018. This was thrown out in favour of a staged implentation of $1 an hour for the next four years to keep up with the government intention for the minimum wage to be $20 in 2021.

If you want to see who voted against bringing the minimum wage increase forward, check out http://dorringtonwright.co.nz/index.php/10yearplan-25/ (it might surprise you).

As of April 1st, the Minimum wage in New Zealand is $16.50. From April 4th, the 2018 Living wage rate is $20.55. The Living wage is the rate you need to earn to be able to live. A minimum wage is a random figure.

I’d love you to join me in telling the Mayor and Councillors that Hamilton City Council staff (and in fact EVERY employee) deserve to be able to pay their bills and therefore need to be on a Living wage. I recommend the Hamilton City Council might make savings by reigning in excessive executive pays to afford to do so. Currently 81 staff earn over $100,000 a year – I think they should be sharing a piece of the pie.

http://www.hamilton.govt.nz/our-council/about-council/human-resources/Pages/default.aspx

Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch City Councils have already shown leadership in movement to a living wage for employees and Hamilton should follow suit. The current proposal for a staged implementation of a minimum wage increase is not enough. The rates will be irrelevant in 4 years time as costs of living continue to increase. The hope is that leadership in the public sector will continue to encourage other employers to follow suit.

The Waikato Living Wage Aotearoa New Zealand are fantastic (volunteer) local advocates so lend them some support as they help you, and our friends be able to live better lives.

https://www.livingwage.org.nz/

The Deputy Mayor and Metal band Deathnir

On this week’s FreeFm show and podcast...

Are the proposals in the Hamilton City Council’s 10 Year Plan “done deals”?  I ask Deputy Mayor Martin Gallagher this question and then find out what he thinks will make Hamilton a desirable city to live in.  Then, Andrew from metal band Deathnir comes in to let us know about an event happening in the central city this weekend and what he was hoping to achieve by bringing metal, rock, acoustic pop, reggae, folk and blues together!  He also performs an acoustic version of one of their songs.

Other music from Looking for Alaska, Coral and System Corporation.

28472018_853210181537248_8294558669869973052_n.jpg

Zero Below by Katie

In this week’s podcast I chat to zero-waste advocate Katie Hine.  Over the last couple of years, she’s worked towards reducing her waste to just a jar every couple of months, far shy of the 780kg the average Hamiltonian is responsible for each year.  Hear about her journey, and tips on how we can all reduce our environmental impact starting in the home.  (www.zerobelow.co.nz or insta “zerobelowbykatie“)

zero-waste
Katie Hine has a blog called http://www.zerobelow.co.nz

Earlier in the week Katie and I organised a meet up for those interested in zero-waste which was a great opportunity to share ideas, ask questions and find out what is happening at a community and political level with regards to waste minimisation.  If you’re interested in future meetings, or want to be one of the first to sign a petition to the Hamilton City Council which launches next week – join the Zero-waste Kirikiriroa group on facebook.

In this episode I also talk about the proposed name change to Kirikiriroa and play music from local bands The Shrugs, The Good Fun, Loudhailer, Date Month Year, Ancient Tapes and Snake Oil Peddlers.

 

With thanks to Two Birds Eateries for their support for Kelli from the Tron and FreeFM89.0.  Listen to the podcast here.