A few days ago I got an inquiry about our line. The person, who I will refer to as “The Activist”, saw our shirts and was interested in some of our designs. The Activist had only one concern. She wanted to know if Skool Boiz was a union shop? The Activist only wore apparel that had union labels. I not only like, but also respect the fact that someone is concerned about what they wear. I saw the consistency in the actions and the words of “The Activist’s”. How many social and political activists are wearing sweatshop-produced apparel? How many are aware of the conditions of the workers, usually immigrants, who make our apparel?
Some of us make a conscious effort to make our purchases an overtly political act. Even though it is getting easier, it is not easy. I know where 98% of my t-shirts are made. However, to be honest the origins of the rest of the contents in my closet are unknown. Do you know where all of your clothes are made and under what condition?
Others of us purchase recycled clothing. It is definitely green and an act of consciousness. Is it an ethical purchase? Does it matter if the garment was created or assembled in a non-union shop by a person who was not making a living wage? Perhaps it was made in a sweatshop. Does the secondary purchase nullify the conditions in which it was made?
Purchasing is a political act. Many of us are or have boycotted products to make change. The fact is that we make change every time we open our pockets and wallets. Thus, I pose this question to you: Are you what you wear or do you wear what you are?