So, I was looking at various stuff online and in the stores this holiday season, specifically purses, bags and the like. Most of it was sheer, unadulterated crap - ugly, all that same thrown together look, regardless of "brand", like it was made in the same third world sweatshop. Yeah, the labels were different, but the workmanship, the colors, and the designs were all the same nauseating garbage.
I went to four different fabric stores. The notions were all the same, even though the brands were different - except for the high end one, that had a few added different things. The pattern selection was limited, and was was supposedly "fashion" was ill-fitting crap too - sloppy necklines, narrow sleeves, pants without pockets, blah, blah.
Same thing with manufactured clothing. Cheaply made, trashy looking, priced like it was fucking haute coture. Sorry, but why should I pay business suit prices for cheesy whore clothes?
People cry about manufacturing jobs going overseas, about small businesses vanishing. Well, when you have to pay the city bunches of money for the privilege of making stuff to sell in your own home, that's why. When it's easier to wear garbage than to make something that looks decent, that's why.
I used to do flea markets 15 - 20 years ago, and people used to look at my hand made jewelry and sneer, saying they could buy "better" for less at WalMart. No, assholes, you can't. You can buy mass produced crap at WalMart and Target. I couldn't even make my booth fee. Craft fairs were out of the question - they wanted too much money for the privilege of being sneered at.
Now, at least there is a resurgence in interest in hand crafts, in things like knitting and quilting, and sites like Etsy.com. I'm hoping that American cottage industry comes back, that people with money not time start putting that money back into the US economy, not send it overseas, and the people with time not money start spending their time making things for sale.
Someone was commenting about them outlawing plastic grocery bags. A sucky idea, even though I actually like reusable bags, and try to remember to bring mine, I don't like being ordered to do so. But to crochet a string bag only takes me a few hours, and not all at one sitting. If you do it while commuting by bus or train, you can churn out about one a week. All you need is a cone of butcher's twine - between 16 and 30 ply - and a G or H crochet hook (size depending on the thickness of the twine). It's time you would otherwise be sitting around.
So if you have money, not time, spend it on stuff made where you live, please. The livelihood you save may be a friend. Plus, it's "greener" - it didn't have to be shipped from sweatshopland in nasty plastic packaging that cuts you.