Pearl of Wisdom:
“Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience”
– Colossians 3:12
AS FOLLOWERS OF JESUS we often think about where we give our money in order to make an impact. But we may not think very often about where we spend our money and the impact those choices create, for good or bad. In fact if you’re like me, you have to admit you’re quite removed from the people who produce your food, your gadgets and your clothes. It’s a common condition of the modern world that has taken root over the last century or so. This detachment means we celebrate our bargain steals, even if we don’t know what it took to make the items so cheaply. Unbeknownst to consumers, cheap goods usually come with a high cost to those whose hands produced them.
Here’s the challenge: throughout both the Old and New Testaments God calls His people to avoid exploitation of the poor.
So the question is:
Can we live in Kingdom fashion if we don’t know how our spending contributes to the exploitation of the poor?
As long as we don’t see the abuses, do we remain innocent? These are the kinds of tough questions I’ve been wrestling with recently as I become more familiar with the fashion and apparel industry during the launch of One Dress United.
In a recent article she wrote for RELEVANT Magazine, Kim Hunt cites some staggering facts. “There are approximately 40 million garment workers in the world right now, and roughly 85 percent of that population is female. In this industry women face not only labor abuses, but also encounter sexual harassment, abuse, and rape at alarming rates.”
One root of these abuses is extreme poverty. When a woman lacks education, she lacks opportunities and falls into work she would never freely choose.
It is the mission of One Dress United to fund the education and vocational training of the most economically vulnerable women around the world, starting with those from Jasper House Haiti. And we’re doing it with a dress.
Insight to Action