I told myself to leave, just move on, but my feet stood glued to the floor surrounded by bright colored, super cute, low priced baby clothes that I NEEDED and really wanted to buy. The problem was, I was in Wal-Mart and I had recently learned that their clothing brands received a poor grade on Free2Work’s report card, meaning there was great possibility that forced labor was used to make them. I told myself to remain committed to buying as much second-hand summer clothes for my two-year old as I could before buying new things, on the other hand, that Hello Kitty swimsuit was so cute! Torn and sorely tempted I took two deep breaths… and walked out.
How can second-hand shopping help end human trafficking?
I made the decision this season to go second-hand shopping first, and go retail shopping second. I did this because forced labor is sustained by one thing: demand. The less you and I buy new from the store, the less product is demanded, the less forced labor is used. That’s the idea anyhow. So second-hand shopping can be an act of abolitionism IF it means we buy LESS from the retail store.
I don’t know what your experience is with buying things second-hand, but I had a heck of a time with it. I went garage sale shopping but it seems that in my area, if your kid is bigger than 6 months old, there are no clothes out there to buy. It seems to me that my habit at a garage sale is to come home with things I don’t need and wouldn’t buy first hand anyway. That kind of garage sale shopping does nothing to lessen the demand for forced labor. It just clutters up my house until I myself have to put on a yard sale. But this season, I had items in mind that I needed and did find a FEW items that I now don’t have to buy from the retailer.
Next I went to a cute consignment shop I love called Lil’ Muffins. I had much better luck here. I got some great clothes and TWO swimsuits for the price of the aforementioned Hello Kitty one. I felt pretty good and had a good base for what I needed. I DID return to the tempting land of Cheap ‘N Cute, but I only had to buy a few items that I hadn’t found second-hand.
Less demand. Less forced labor.
I CAN shop second-hand first.
SHOP WELL SERIES:
4: On Second Hand Shopping
- The Positive Guide to Garage Sales (positivenrggroup.com)
- Confession: I wear your granddad’s clothes. I look incredible. (postgradsororitygirl.wordpress.com)