This month I was I was approached by Ellen van Dongen of the Responsible Shopping Dubai website and asked if The Little Fair Trade Shop would like to be featured. I said YES!
Attended my first Dubai Vegan Meet Up, continued with my Who Made My Clothes course and was diagnosed with a painful frozen shoulder.
I received a message from Ellen Van Dongan about participating in her work and website 'Responsible Shopping Dubai.'
I have invited her coffee and learnt what had motivated and inspired her to establish this pioneering platform.
Ellen is a vegan, ethical consumer, loves cats and is passionate about technology. It was lovely to spend a morning talking about fairtrade, ethical living and vegan pot luck meet ups.
I hope to attend another Vegan Meet Up soon.
I wish Ellen the very best and success with her website Responsible Shopping Dubai.
Here is a video Facebook posted about me. I particularly love all the fairtrade pioneers and producers featured.
Facebook video featuring fair trade pioneers
This week we were asked to take an outrospective look at our clothes and learn how to emphasise with others.
The Power of Outrospection - Roman Krznaric
We were asked to read about the lives of 3 garment workers share our thoughts.
Pages 26 - 33 from Fashion Revolution’s 2017 Money, Fashion, Power fanzine, illustrated the work and lives of three women:
Photographs to be posted
Photographs here to be posted
Photographs here to be added
All learners were asked to choose one item of clothing they wanted to research in detail.
I couldn't research my turquoise dress as it has no labels so I've decided to conduct research about my fair trade banana suit.
Lesson 2.5 WHO ASSEMBLED OUR CLOTHES?
Thanks for getting in touch and apologies for the delay in responding to you.
Here are the answers to your questions. Livslust organisation in an excellent design by a social enterprise in Latvia called Livslust, which supports a vocational program for people with a high risk of otherwise being marginalised - http://www.livslust.com/
Any support in my research would be gratefully appreciated.
I look forward to hearing from the team soon.
Remember to copy information, quotations and sources into your research document as you do this. Add these details under the title – Tier One findings - and don’t forget to note down the names of the garment workers you find, as well as what they say.
For this stage of your research, please follow the step by step search advice below:
After examining your garment’s label to find out the materials from which it was made, do an internet search to find out how each one is grown and/or made into fabric. You might want to begin with a website such as Wikipedia, which has a clothing material page.
Contact your brand’s customer service department by phone, email or social media and ask them to tell you from which companies and which countries they sourced your garment’s materials. Refer to the countries that you added to your table and ask if this information is correct.
Check Fashion Revolution’s Research Library board Pinterest again to see if you can find reports about the growing/making of your garment’s materials in different countries. Read these reports to find human stories and/or to get some ideas for search terms which may enable you to find human stories elsewhere.
See how likely it is that your materials were produced in countries where forced and/or child labour is common by checking this interactive US Department of Labor List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor. Filter the ‘Good’ list to show ‘garments’, ‘textiles’ and/or ‘cotton’. Use your findings as search terms - e.g. ‘China’, ‘cotton’, and ‘child labour’ - to find the stories which go with this information.
If your garment is made from cotton, which could have been grown in Uzbekistan, check the Responsible Sourcing Network’s Pledge Against Forced Labor in the Uzbek Cotton Sector to see if its brand has signed. This is a campaign to eliminate forced labour from cotton supply chains in one country where it is known to be commonplace. Again, use your findings as search terms - e.g. your brand, ‘cotton’, and ‘Uzbekistan’ - to find the human stories that go with this information.
Another place to look for stories of human labour are in the case studies of reports into ‘industrial toxicology’, ‘occupational toxicology’, ‘industrial health and safety’ and/or ‘occupational health and safety’. Search for your material and each of these phrases and see what you can find. Some results may be entirely technical, but you may be able to find case studies detailing working environments, accidents or long-term exposure to substances used in the growing and manufacture of materials and their effects on workers’ lives. This search would be helpful, for example, if your item of clothing had been sandblasted.
As before, don’t forget to look both for human stories (e.g. cotton farmers talking about their lives and work) and background information (e.g. International Labour Organisation conventions).
Remember to copy information, quotations and sources into your research document as you do this. Add these details under the title – Tier Two findings - and don’t forget to note down the names of the workers you find, as well as what they say.
Lesson 2.10 CREATE YOUR OWN STORY
Who shoulders the blame fast fashion brands or consumers?
I feel it is our responsibility as consumers to ask brands how much garment workers are paid and no reassure shoppers that workers are not exploited or harassed.
By the end of week 3 learners learnt to be,
Be Curious - gain a detailed understanding of garment supply chains, how they work, and the interdependence of places, resources and people upon which they rely
Find Out - undertake some detective work on one item of your own clothing to create a story of the relationship between of its consumer’s (i.e. you) and its producers’ lives.
Do Something - understand ‘political responsibility’ and the Fashion Revolution Movement’s ‘Theory of Change’ and, in this context, make a pledge to do something that you believe will improve the lives of garment workers worldwide.
This month I was asked to write a tribute to my late mother Mrs Meshar Mumtaz Bano by Kindness.org.
My beloved mother was a ‘courageous woman, she was my first school of thought, love, compassion and my paradise.’
Mum was an extraordinarily humble, kind and charismatic lady.
She could strike up a conversation with anyone. An empathetic listener, amazing chef and gardener, she possessed a sharp wit and humour that would instantly lift your spirits.
Yes! She had a beautiful smile. Never once did she complain about her cancer and all those horrible treatments. She was so calm and graceful even during the most difficult times.
Nothing was ever too much for her and she would go out of her way to help loved ones and strangers.
Strangers would always compliment and thank her for her warm friendly nature.
‘Be kind to everyone you meet because they have been sent from above, she used to say.'
To read more click on the link below.
This month I discovered that I have been suffering with a frozen shoulder.
As I type this newsletter I hope I will encourage other bloggers, social entrepreneurs and home based workers who rely on the laptops and Mac's to think very carefully how they can work safely without causing adverse effects to their health.
I hope to post a separate blog about my diagnosis and recovery.
Thank you for reading and I hope to bring you another monthly newsletter next month.
Further Reading and Links
Dubai Vegetarian Meet Up - Dubai
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Despite struggling with my shoulders I participated in the Six Items Challenge for the eighth year.
I enrolled on the Be The Change Course with Oxfam and the Open University.
I welcomed environmental activist Isatou Ceesay and her son Madou to Dubai.
Isatou Ceesay and son Madou stayed with me for 5 days during their 7 day visit
Isatou Ceesay is an environmental activist and social entrepreneur from Njau, Gambia.
For over 16 years she has been reducing the use of single use plastic.
She has co-authored a book about her plastic journey titled One Plastic Journey with Miranda Paul who I interviewed last year.
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