I don’t really understand how anyone can shop there. Or ASDA, or Tesco, or wherever else, for their clothes. I’m sorry, I just don’t get it. You know they’re made in a sweatshop by blind five-year-olds with missing fingers doing a million-hour day for a pittance (I admit I may be exaggerating slightly). You all know it.
I’m not brilliant. I still buy clothes from M&S (which is, ethically, very nearly as bad as Primark etc) and H&M and so on. I do try where possible to buy things second-hand, but I will admit, I like shopping, I like new clothes, and if you’re looking for a well-fitting pair of jeans in the right shade of blue or whatever you’re more likely to find them on the highstreet than you are in your local vintage store, and until I’m a lot richer, I really can’t afford to buy basicsy highstreety stuff on a regular basis from fairtrade stores such as Ascension, much as I would love to do so. And yes, the other day, I did buy some socks from Primark. It was an emergency and I do feel guilty.
And as a Christian, where our faith is all about loving the Lord our God, and loving thy neighbour as much as thyself… how can you possibly treat your fellow man, by proxy, so badly? How can you call yourself a good Christian while you boast on your facebook profile about the suit you bought for some completely unbelievable sum from ‘Primarni’? While you actually boast about the cheapness of your clothes? Now, I’m all about good value. I’m not that kind of a snob, I’m not going to look down on you because you bought a cheap suit, but you have to look at those prices, think about the price of cloth and so on and think, hang on, surely getting a suit for under £50, shirt, shoes, tie and all, should be technically impossible? What’s going on here? Where is the money being cut from?’. You surely have to be suspicious of something that costs so little – you must realise that someone’s paying for that, and that someone is probably the poor woman who sewed the buttons on and doesn’t get paid or won’t be given work tomorrow if she doesn’t manage to make 20 suits in an hour or something.
It should be no more shocking that my Christian friends boast about Primarni than that my non-Christian friends do. I have always argued that atheists are as nice and have as much of a developed conscience as Christians – why would I argue otherwise? But somehow, when these days seemingly every church has a fair trade stall and a link to all kinds of fairtrade this, that and the other, when you’re looking at upstanding pillar-of-the-student-church-community types, it still brings me up short.
I want to interfere, but I don’t know that I know this guy well enough. Personally if I was interviewing a student for a job, I wouldn’t necessarily even expect them to own a suit. If I was employing a student, I would understand if they wore their old school trousers etc until their first pay packet. It’s not impossible. And for crying out loud I know full well that the Oxfam where I work has a lot of suits in at the minute. Honestly.