Leather and Consistency

I learned something quite shocking last week. My conservative, traditional, Southern husband likes leather jackets. On me!

Now I knew that he liked a conservative, traditional, Southern leather jacket for himself, but had no idea he would like leather on me. And, to make it all the more astounding, he liked every single leather jacket that I tried on–even the one which was indisputably biker chick (not to be confused with biker chic!).

As we continued on to look at the winter coats I admitted that while I hesitate to wear a leather jacket I do not have the same qualms about down. Josh thought that insane.

I explained that leather jackets are made out of mammals which are basically me. But down jackets are made out of water fowl which are just about chickens, and I don’t like chickens at all.

Josh still thinks that I am inconsistent. But the leather/down question is nothing but a shadow. The real inconsistency is the fact that I did not bother to check out the brands and countries of origin of any of the jackets. So apparently I won’t wear leather because it is leather, but I don’t care if it was sewn together by underpaid kids in a sweatshop in Southeast Asia? Ouch.

What ethical concerns do you allow to come clothes shopping with you? And which ones do you conveniently forget at home? Do you care about whether your purchases are supporting companies that profit by exploiting children?

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9 thoughts on “Leather and Consistency

  1. Craig

    I’m surprised you had enough left in you, after your last monumental post, for more humor.

    “chick” and “chic” – funny.

    And then the conviction thing thrown in. Very sneaky.

    Chickens I’ll wear. Leather I can’t afford. Labels, I promise to check more often – now.

  2. Mark S.

    Great article. I am not troubled by my source of fabric/filler. It just doesn’t seem that important to me. I’m not sure what that says about me. As for their country of origin, I favor US but get that other countries and do not like the idea of sweatshops. On the other hand, I do worry that in my righteousness I might be starving the person who would otherwise be working, albeit in a sweatshop. I guess I am either too self absorbed or perhaps, too confused. I just try every day to make a difference where I am.

  3. alisha

    this post made me very uncomfortable. with myself. because i’m about as inconsistent as they come, and said inconsistency does not in any way stop with labels. i hate using paper plates, but could not live without my swiffer. i use plastic grocery bags because we re-use them as bathroom garbage bags…but not in my bathroom because i dearly love the smell of my vanilla scented tiny garbage bags. see the pattern?

  4. Allison Welch

    Every now and again a moment of grace washes over me and I think about the person who made my clothes. I imagine them touching and working with the fabric and I’m overcome with gratitude. I don’t know them, I’ll probably never see their face but we are connected…

  5. Mama Kalila

    Yeah I’m bad about it too… We use cloth diapers (among other reusable/eco-friendly household items) and paper towels… sometimes even paper plates. Not often because they’re expensive but I long for them… The paper towels are an issue though. We buy at Sams. I go through them like crazy. We have microfiber towels, dishrags, bar rags, etc… but immediately reach for my paper towels and use them for everything. Therés other things, but that’s the most glaring one.

    Who makes my clothes… I prob should put more thought into it :-( Leather doesn’t bother me… is too expensive most times. I have a nice suede jacket I got on sale a few years back. Needs cleaning though.

  6. Lori

    What a great topic! I’m surprised no one has mentioned used clothing (or preowned, or vintage, or what have you.) Especially for kids, I shop at resale and thrift stores 99% of the time. It seems to make the most sense financially and ecologically. A lot of my own clothing is used too, but obviously the kids need “new” clothing more often that I do.

    For need-to-be-new items, like undies, the only country I always avoid is China, for the labor laws reason and a host of others. It’s not too hard usually EXCEPT for shoes. Non-Chinese shoes almost always mean Italian or American or if I’m lucky, Brazilian. But I bet they last longer, hopefully lessening the environmental impact too. And it means I’m less likely to make an impulse buy if I’m spending $80 on a pair rather than $20.

    As far as the promises of one company versus another, in terms of employee rights, I just don’t think I can really trust the corporation. If the country has good labor laws, I feel more assured that the corporation does also, whereas if a company is manufacturing in a lax labor law country, my inner cynic doubts the company is holding itself to a higher standard.

  7. Elisa

    Haha…so funny. I used to be VERY legalistic about these things…buying clothes NOT from China and whoever else. Now I still RARELY go clothes shopping, mainly because I sincerely dislike it, and I also don’t have the $$ to spend on the really nice clothes that are made in USA. So, I do just try to buy little to begin with, make what I can (haven’t made any clothes yet), and get used whenever. I guess that’s my biggest thing. I get 2nd hand stuff a lot, and I ask for handmedowns from friends, and I check craigs list and freecycle.org and the thrift shops. If I must have something new, I will never pay retail price. I just wait a while, and hope it’s still there and if it isn’t, then it wasn’t meant to be. =)

  8. Dawn Farias

    “What ethical concerns do you allow to come clothes shopping with you?”

    None. One day when I have the time and money to be concerned and know that my husband won’t resist and call me crazy, then I’ll take some ethical concerns with me to the store.

    Probably, the latter reason is more important than the former. My experience with ideals is that they often cause tension with those close to you. Which is fine… unless that someone is your husband. I save my Ideals Energy Reserves for things like NFP and No, I don’t think you should get a vasectomy.


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