So politics isn’t something that I would ever usually talk about. To be quite honest it’s something that I don’t really pay any attention to. To be honest I’m 32 years old & I’ve never voted. As a child I grew up under the Conservatives & Maggie T & as an adult I’ve lived my life under Labour with the charismatic American-loving Tony Blair & the not-so Gordon Brown. In my own reality there hasn’t been a huge difference between the two. Margaret Thatcher provided us with a strong female role model, privatisation and a decline in the manufacturing industry, New Labour finished it off for her. Tony Blair’s ‘New Labour’ didn’t seem that different to the Conservatives before them to me. It’s only now, after a few years struggle that you see the evidence of Labours social ‘for the people’ policies… but is it too late?
There is so much that needs addressing right now… immigration, classroom sizes, unemployment, the recession, illiteracy, poverty, outsourced businesses, housing, the economy… & on a personal level, who will benefit us more? Mr J runs his own (small) business, we rent because we can’t afford to get on the housing ladder, we haven’t got children yet but are planning to in the next year or so, I earn over £20k so am likely to get hit by Labour in taxes, but Mr J’s small business will be a financial struggle under the Conservatives… & the Lib Dems? I have absolutely no idea! Well on Friday we’ll find out whose turn it is to run the country… I have butterflies in my tummy!
Four weeks ago I decided to undertake The Ethical Clothing Challenge of the Utmost Kind… an amalgamation of a couple of different pledges & ideas that I discovered in blog land. I have discovered that actually I am not a huge consumer. I am a magazine addict but I’ve limited myself to ownly buying Marie Claire which is dedicated to aiding human rights, bring green issues to women, & womens rights and buying The Independent newspaper (especially now that it’s election time!) and of course reading my favourite blogs. I don’t buy things for the home as we have everything that we need to be honest. Even if we need kitchenware I head to the nearest charity shop whereby you can purchase a perfectly lovely mug for 50p! I have an entire vintage 70’s dinner set that I picked up for a fiver. Why buy new?!! My downfall is clothes. At work I have to wear uniform so out of work I like to wear nice things. My wardrobe is in a weird transistional phase where I have t-shirts I used to wear when I worked behind a bar but don’t wear anymore, dresses that used to fit but are now to big, old vests that I use as pajama tops… & not a whole lot else. However over the last month I’ve only bought one new item of clothing (I was away from home & very very cold & bought a thick chunky grey cardigan that I will wear over & over!)… it was the shoes. Rainbow ballet pumps from Schuh. Again though I’m already wearing them constantly but it has made me question just how much is actually available on the high street? Today courtesy of The British Heart Foundation & Oxfam I’ve come home with 2 dresses & a lovely Dorothy Perkins top, a Louis Theroux book for Mr J & a very very interesting book for me… Green is the New Black by Tamsin Blanchard. It’s funny, relevant, very up-to-date & not just good for a Brit chick.. at the back it has a global green directory for clothing and hair and beauty, I think it will be my new green bible! I’ve also recently read a fascinating interview with Jane Sheperdson the woman behind Whistles’ current revamp. She does consultant work for People Tree & Oxfam, was responsible for bringing People Tree to Topshop & is now working similar magic at Whistles. Most of the clothes are made in the UK for starters with only 35 factories being used to make their entire collection. Yes prices are high but it’s worth it to have a good quality item that will last several years & wasn’t made using child-labour in a sweatshop. I’m glad I’ve undertaken this pledge as it really has made me think before buying, it makes me ask whether or not I really need that and it’s made me think just how much my decisions affect other people. And on that last note I’ve got 4 weeks to figure out which party to vote for in the General Election….