• The simplicity of a henley is a thing of beauty. Practical, utilitarian, and handsome whether you layer it with an organic plaid shirt, or wear it on it's own. When that henley is fairly-made in Italy or Portugal from organic cotton, it's also a thing of ethical handsomeness. While I wish on all my lucky-charms that Nudies would stop using cruel and ecologically devastating leather for their denim tags and jackets, I am happy when they have items like this that are leather-free. (Don't they know about all the cutting-edge, supple faux-leathers made from recycled soda bottles, TV's, or in closed-loop Japanese factories?). Nudie does, however, have an amazing human rights program set up with Amnesty International - that with the purchase of any one of their organic cotton "Human Rights Tees", 10 Euros gets donated to AI. They've got some pretty cool designs, as well.
• Is cheap denim worth burning young women to death? Most people would say no - but our shopping habits speak otherwise. On December 15th, 2010, a multi-story sweatshop making clothes for notorious sweatshop slumlords, The Ha-meem Group (employed by GAP Inc., Wrangler jeans, JC Penney, Target, Abercrombie & Fitch, H&M, Walmart, Kohl's, Sears, Next and Osh Kosh B'Gosh, trapped and killed at least 29 workers in Bangladesh. The unsafe and unchecked conditions in the sweatshop prevented these mostly young girls from making a safe escape, as exists are commonly locked from the outside to prevent people from taking breaks. Many were burned alive, and many jumped to their death. To add insult to injury, "...the workers who were burned alive were likely being paid some $24 a month, less than $1 a day," according to Change.org.
The disconnect we have concerning where our clothes come from is shameful, but understandable considering the epic propaganda and marketing machine that tells well-funded myths about cheap clothes. Between 2006 and 2009, 414 workers died in 213 factory fires. This latest fire at the Ha-Meem Group factory was not the first one to occur this year either - and famous factory fires that kill poor people or immigrants have a well-documented history.
If you unwrapped a Christmas present from any one of these companies yesterday, or plan on going to the mall to spend gift-certificates, I would seriously consider using the opportunity to return items, speak to a managers, write letters, or otherwise voice your outrage. Lastly, please Sign The Petition to demand that these manufacturers at least compensate families of the victims.
* If you are designer or work with any of these companies - check out the amazing work that Made-By is doing, and find out how to get the button sewn into your label!
• Snack Attack! I am drooling like a rescued pitbull just thinking about these new snacks! The vegan mozzarella-style sticks from Chicago Soy Dairy's Teese line offers 15 sticks for 6 bucks - that ain't bad at all. Then, squeeze some of Tiger Tiger's flavored vegan mayo on your favorite sandwich or burger, and for dessert, how about some raw, Nutella-inspired Rawtella over ice cream or in a cookie sandwich?
• Man Tools from Jack Black are a sure way to keep a well-groomed face and handsome conscious. A cruelty-free and Men's Health Magazine award-winning lather-brush designed to both meet and exceed the performance of Silver Tip Badger hair, and a razor-sharpener that extends the life of any razor are often hard to find, but here they are: