Regular readers will know how strongly Miss Wednesday feels on ethical matters, such as food and garments production, living wages, decent living and working conditions, etc. She can blather on about such things until the chickens give up asking for corn and fall asleep with sheer boredom. Just recently, we’ve had Fashion Revolution Day, marking two years since the ghastly factory collapse at Rana Plaza in Bangladesh, which killed 1133 workers (24th April 2013) and calling on people to think about and instrument a change in global fashion supply chains.
Even more recently, we in Britain had a General Election. (Oh gawd, not more political bollocks…) Well, no. No political bollocks here, not really. Because, frankly, it’s done and dusted. For whatever reasons, the people of Britain made their choices and elected a government. Job done. And now we have to sit back and let that government get on with creating the country we want. Don’t we?
Er, no. No, we don’t. We all have the power to influence our society. Every single one of us. With every single pound we spend. And with pretty much every action we take.
Life for some is good. Life for some is harder. Life for others is unbelievably difficult and accessing help can be an uphill struggle, not always achievable. We hear so much about “benefit bunnies”, layabouts, shirkers, etc. But nobody wants to have to go to a food bank in order to be able to put food on the table for their family. Nobody. But in an economic climate such as this, where jobs are hard to come by and living wages a mere dream, they are becoming increasingly important.
So, spare a thought for the people who have no choice but to use them. When you’re shopping, maybe stick a couple of things in your basket that you can pop into the food bank’s collection basket in your local bank, church or community centre. You will be making a bigger difference than the pound or less it costs you to do this.
And when you do that shopping, how do you feel doing it locally? Proper locally? When you spend money in local shops (not branches of national chains), you’re supporting local people. Not just the proprietors of those shops but the wider community.
For example, the beautiful Lovely Lane emporiums in Polperro and Looe – more news on this in a minute – stock my Ready To Wear range. So you can actually try and buy Wednesday March clothing in a shop again. How lovely! Now, should you choose to purchase some of that clothing (or any of the other locally-produced goods in the shop), who do you think benefits? Well, Sharon, the proprietor of those shops, me, the other producers, obviously. But Sharon employs local people in her shops, because although she’s an amazing businesswoman, she can’t be in more than one place at once, so needs people to help her. People she pays to man the shops for her when she’s off sourcing stock and doing the hundred and more things you have to do when you have a shop. Employment! Yes, she’s creating employment, giving local people money and opportunities and keeping them out of the Jobcentre and Foodbanks. And both Sharon and her employees spend money locally, in other local shops and businesses, creating more opportunities for expansion, employment and wealth locally. I spend my money as locally as possible, doing the same as I’m sure do the other suppliers. And when our money stays local – or at least in this country – it goes further. We make our economy work for us, rather than bolstering up multinational firms who, frankly, don’t give a monkeys about any of us as long as they and their shareholders get big, fat payoffs. Surely that’s an easy way to make a difference?
And, because this is supposed to be a blog about frocks, here’s a picture of one.
The original Lovely Lane store is moving from West Looe to Higher Market Street in East Looe and will be opening on Saturday 16th May 2015! Exciting or what? And yes, the tie-shoulder sundress pictured above is one of the garments that will be available for purchase there. Form an orderly queue, please.