Saturday, 13 May 2017

#whomademyfabric - FREE GASPAR MATALAEV

Gaspar Matalaev is in prison in Turkmenistan for reporting on forced labour (and child labour) in the Turkmen cotton industry. He has been tortured and his family is under surveillance.

Thursday 18 May is Turkmenistan's Constitution Day, and it's likely that the president will grant pardons to hundreds of prisoners. Freedom United hope that a surge in signatures on their petition to free Gaspar will get him included in the amnesty so, if you haven't signed it yet, now is a good time.

Who picked your cotton?

Thursday, 27 April 2017


Fashion Revolution Week is here again, and the focus is wider than just the final stage of garment manufacturing (the bit that I as a home sewer/knitter may have done for myself). There are plenty of questions I can ask beyond #whomademyclothes:

Who made my fabric?

Who produced the raw materials for my fabric?

What was it like for them to do that? Safe? Fairly rewarded? Supportive of their human rights, needs, and dignity?

What did the production of my fabric do to the place it came from, and the people and animals that live there?

What did the production of my fabric do to the planet, and all of us who live here?

What will my fabric do to the planet while I'm using it (especially when being washed)?

How long will this fabric last, and what impact will it have when I eventually dispose of it?

Am I OK with the honest answers to all these questions, or am I avoiding thinking about them?

NB: There is the option to ask these questions every week, not just in Fashion Revolution Week.

See also:
The high price of cheap stuff - what we can do
Conscious Crafting - some sewing links (long overdue an update, I know)
Fashion Revolution Day: who made your fabric?

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

care* package

*: Care for the world, care for ourselves, care for the world and ourselves as a part of it.

Traumatised by the election result? A psychotherapist's recovery guide (written for us Brits after last year's general election but transferable, I think, to anyone who needs it)

Not a style of music I'd usually listen to at all but this track has been shown to reduce anxiety by 65%! (And here's more of the same)

Okay, the world's gone nuts [video] - Russell Brand himself is proof that radical change is possible!

"the force most responsible for creating the nightmare in which we now find ourselves wide awake: neoliberalism" - Naomi Klein's analysis; more about neoliberalism from George Monbiot here

Autocracy: Rules for Survival

Perspective  [video] - Laniakean and proud..

Choose your history [video]

From 2012: "This social movement can’t achieve its goals if people think it’s essentially some kind of niceness revolution." This seems like an important point for the sewing blog world, which is so extremely nice.

A Wild Love for the World [audio] - and so many other fascinating and wonderful episodes of On Being; hours of heartening, deepening, and important conversation there

"The most fundamental part of a new plan is this: do not do the same damn thing all over again and expect different results" - from a writer who saw this coming and still somehow didn't expect it

For those of us not in the US, let's not to be too distracted from what our own governments are doing

Long watch from way back in 1992: Manufacturing Consent [video] (short extract here about how the media frame and limit debate, and the relationship between media and advertisers)

A favourite guided meditation: may all beings awaken, and be free [audio]

And the background of the term "care package", which I knew nothing about until today

p.s. A few of these links are from The Guardian, and you might notice them asking you to donate money to the newspaper. As much as I like some of their writers, The Guardian isn't always the progressive force it should be, and it's awash with big-money advertising; if you've got money to spare there are media organisations that I consider more in need and deserving of donations (e.g. Morning Star, Democracy Now!) - not to mention plenty of charities and NGOs.