1. Vegan Suits that Don't Suck
DB Reader Jared asks:
I have been on a year-long quest to find a good vegan suit, but to no avail. There are of course cotton suits, but I am looking for something more classic (but slim) and slightly more professional looking during the non-summer months. H&M is the best that I have found, but their options tend to look polyester-ish and have low rise pants. Would you happen to know of somewhere where I can obtain what has become my holy grail? I would be forever indebted to you."
Jared, you are not alone in your quest for ethical suitage! When I was attending the anti-globalization protests in the early 2000's, I posed the question to some of my fellow protestors "Can you image what would have happened if every activist showed up in a business suit? The f***ing cops wouldn't know what the hell to do!". I still believe this - especilly since the main purpose of the police is to protect the haves from the have-nots. Since the suit is a symbol of having, the typical dance between activists and cops would take an interesting turn for sure. It certainly wouldn't be as easy to know who to arrest or whose face to bash in with a night-stick.
Isn't it funny how the suit has come to represent the official non-verbal symbol of power? This is the power of fashion - it's all too underestimated in many activist circles. When searching for an ethical suit, there is a near conflict-of-interest when we consider 1) what the suit represents, and 2) how suits are typically made (sweatshops, animal skins & hairs). It's almost like wearing a faux-fur! "Don't worry, this suit isn't really a tool for global domination, oppression and resource pillaging."
So what's to be said for appropriating a powerful symbol in the name of gaining clout for your cause? I think it's great!
If you need an affordable suit - I would first go to a thrift store. Some people are opposed to secondhand wool. I am not, and my argument is simple: If you are purchasing something that looks like a suit, no one is going know if it's wool or synthetic. Buying a new synthetic suit requires a lot of undesirable processes and labor practices. Secondhand requires no new resource extraction or labor. In the ethical equation of new synthetic vs secondhand wool I have to say that secondhand wool wins. The drawbacks of new synthetics are just too great.
Next I would check sample sales. Finally, if you can afford to purchase new designer suits or commission a designer to make one for you, some ethically produced suits are:
(not everything is vegan, so check labels
Bamford & Sons (they use fur & aligator skins, so def write them a letter )
3.Right Wing Tiger-Beat?
My friend Esther Bell pointed me to the scary and inaccurate new tactics that some right wingers are using to scare kids about sex and abortion.
The publication is described by the Human Life Alliance as "this extremely marketable, cutting edge magazine will cause your friends to want to get their own copy. The colorful graphics will catch their attention, and the thought provoking stories and facts on the inside will challenge them to change the way they think about sex outside of marriage."
These "facts" are actually (and not surprisingly) tons of misinformation cloaked in teen rhetoric. One example is a advice column type section with Dr. Mary Paquette, who she contends that abortion causes infertility, breast cancer and ruins girls lives. The feature also ends with a section called "My Choice," where there is what seems to be a biographical note of a teen who put her baby up for adoption, saying, "I thank God every day that I don't have to visit the memory of an aborted baby, the grave of an innocent life."