Monday, May 13, 2013

Victim 2: Fashion Fuse

conscience |ˈkänCHəns|
an inner feeling or voice viewed as acting as a guide to the rightness or wrongness of one's behavior: she had a guilty conscience about her desires to look good | Deborah was suffering a pang of conscience.

This is my favorite summer music festival top. It is made out of really light cotton so it is very cool on those hot days and SO cute with my favorite twirly skirts. I don't remember where I bought it, probably at a festival or second hand shop. After going through all my clothing on Monday I put this top back in the closet. Yesterday I wore it for about 5 minutes until I realized that since it had a label I should probably look up the brand and clear my conscience or put it on the burn pile where it belongs

This is all I had to go on:

I did some Googling and finally found their website:

As I looked through their clothing for sale my heart skipped a beat. I  love every single item they sell. My shopping addiction started to drum loudly in my soul. 


I started getting excited about all the clothing I could buy from them IF they use ethical labor so I wasted no time in sending them this email:

I am a big fan of your clothing. Since the collapse of Rana Plaza in Bangladesh I have committed myself to wearing and buying only ethically made clothing. I have a few of your items and I was unable to find anything on the internet about your business practices. Can you tell me where your clothes are made and under what conditions? My top says "Made in India". I attached a photo. I would appreciate your response otherwise I will have to burn it.

Thank you!
Deborah Norton

I got a reply in about 10 minutes. I was really happy and excited to see they were quick to respond to such an important issue in their industry. Then I read the email:

All of our clothes are Made in India. 
All of our suppliers are factory compliant and are up to code. 

Fashion Fuse, Inc.
8 Caesar Place
Moonachie, NJ 07074
Tel: 201-438-8102
Fax: 201-484-8575

Um.....ok.....and who are you?  There was no name, no expression of concern for what had happened, just a brief and cold reply. I sent this back immediately:

I appreciate your prompt reply but what does that mean? Can you take some time to fill me in with more detail? You are not listed as Fair Trade and are not on any lists of ethical clothing brands. What factory do you buy your clothing from in India? I need more than this reply. You didn't even sign your name.

Deborah Norton

It's been 24 hours and no reply...

As I tossed my beautiful festival top on the burn pile I was wistful. All the clothes on the Fashion Fuse site are beautiful and totally ME and I wish I could buy ALL of them. But something inside of me has snapped. I know I can never go back to wearing "blood clothing" again. It feels like the day I found out the LDS church was promoting and funding anti-gay marriage legislation in California. That day I knew that although I had loved my religion and lived it devoutly for 7 years, I could no longer associate with my church again. It was a clean break and I have never regretted it once. My entire life turned upside down due to that decision and I ended up divorced, working for minimum wage and struggling to put food on the table for my kids. I could have stayed in the church with my successful husband and lived in comfort for the rest of my life without having to work another day. 

I have never regretted that decision once.  Compared to that decision this one is cake.  I still have beautiful clothing in my closet and this decision will certainly not end my relationship or harm me financially. 

And while I took the time to agonize over 1 silly top, the death toll at Rana Plaza has surpassed 1100.  

1 comment:

  1. Have been following this blog. Thanks and keep up the good work.