Manolo says, here is the Manolo’s latest column for the Express of the Washington Post.
Recent events in Bangladesh have me upset. I don’t want to buy shoes made in China anymore! But are any cute shoes for work made in the US — or somewhere else where a child isn’t sewing them — anymore? This may be your greatest challenge yet, but I don’t want to turn to making my own shoes from fair-trade coffee beans or something.
Manolo says, it is true that we live in the world of the wonders, where the long distance trade fills our shops with things from the faraway lands.
Unfortunately, we know little (and perhaps wish to know even less) about the sometimes deplorable conditions under which the peoples who produce these goods labor, even as we must always remember that the inexpensiveness of the items we purchase does not absolve us of our moral duties.
Just because the thing is cheap and stylish and you wish to own it does not mean you should always buy it. Your responsibilities to others extend beyond the limits of your closet and your pocketbook.
What then is to be done? Firstly, we must buy only from those producers whom we know to be ethical. Secondly, we must work to expand the number of ethical producers worldwide.
The poor Bangledeshi ladies who make the inexpensive shifts deserve to work for reasonable wages under safe conditions. If such conditions can be achieved, then it would be fine to purchase the goods made there.
In the meantime, you may safely enjoy the retro-fun of the Kork-Ease Ava in brown, shoes that have been made in the U.S. of the A. since the 1953.