I call it a ‘problem’ because Etsy is pretty much the only place I buy clothing for myself anymore. The clothes there are made by adults who are paid a fair wage. This means that the handmade clothes there are very expensive! And because of that expense, I don’t buy very many of them. The vintage selection, however, is cheaper and really good.
Pretty amazing, right? Of course not all vintage is inexpensive. But my odds of finding affordable, ethical options increase by a lot.
My workplace is right across the street from a Marshalls and a Winners. I browse there a lot and I buy shoes there when I or anyone else in my house needs them. Buying shoes by mail order isn’t a great idea because about 50% of the time I bring shoes home, I end up needing to exchange them for a different size. Last winter I bought a pair of boots for boy midget from Sears.ca, and I ended up having to return them, twice, because of them being inaccurately described on the site or else being too small for his ever-expanding feet. After 4 trips to the Sears mail order location, out of pure frustration I stuck with a pair that, while meeting our specifications (no removable interior boot, waterproof and lined), are too big. I predict boy midget will graduate high school and those boots will still be too big.
My point here is that the clothes at Marshalls and Winners are really freaking cute. I mean, they have asymmetrical clothes that I love, made from fabrics I am attracted to, and they are right there waiting for me to bring them home. Generally I buy clothes for my midgets there because of the reasonable prices and the midgets’ alarming rate of growth. I’ve talked to girl midget about the ethical dilemma of buying cheap clothing, and she understood what I was describing because she learned about child labour in school. It appears the school curriculum is changing with the times.
Last week I had an intense conversation with boy midget about our household’s vegan experience. Boy was a little upset that I had ‘given up’ so easily on his conversion. Um, srsly? How many meals did I have to research and spend time preparing, before the rejection was enough to convince me to lower my expectations of my omnivore offspring? When the people I am trying to change start digging in their heels and refusing to move, what am I to do? The midgets were moping around the house, opening cupboards and refrigerator doors multiple times and closing them with a very large sigh, and dinner time had turned into a battle ground.
I asked boy if he prefers to have me force the issue and keep feeding him food he clearly hates. Because if that’s what he wants, I can accommodate him. Nevermind me adapting to the situation at hand, no, I should instead force the issue and make everyone miserable, just to prove a point. I don’t like that we still eat meat, eggs, and dairy at our house. I actually hate it. But now I’m realistic enough to know I can’t change one of the most integral parts of our lives (food) instantly. Check back with me in a few years.