Fair Play?!....fair is for losers

There are some great efforts going forward to address textile issues and the rights of the workers that are involved in the whole process. The Play Fair Alliance is driving the issues of equity and fairness in respect to the clothing and uniforms that will be worn by athletes at the Vancouver Winter Olympics. Their website is loaded with information and even updates on the willingness of manufacturers to operate transparently and responsibly.

I have been thinking a lot about effective methods for educating consumers in the States, and what role Jenni and I might play. The idea of "fair play" is intriguing because it is so vehemently upheld in many facets of life, but completely ignored in others. In the coming months I want to post ideas that might contribute to that process and project of us leading some sort of education and response. It seems to me there are some creative and powerful ways to join inherent values like fair play and community into a vehicle to project information on social and justice issues. Used wisely and creatively there's a chance to engage a large demographic that might be oblivious or even disinterested in seeking out such information and knowledge.


Now we just need a food court, and we're done!

There are HUGE changes afoot in the retail world, especially in book selling, and we are on the bleeding edge...or at least within a few day's trip. So, in the interest of changing things, and since we are on a bit of a moral and social mission anyway, and in a very real way we are asking the retail and manufacturing world to change, we will forge least in our little corner/island of the world. A little over two years ago we entered the retail marketplace as bookstore owners. For multiple reasons the time is ripe to reinvent our store and mess it up to a degree. We will remain a full service bookstore, but we will also become an upcycling center. We have carved out a small bit of space for the last six months or so to introduce the concept of upcycled clothing, but we are committing much more floor and wall space to selling upcycled clothing that is made from thrift store cast-offs. We are also committing floor and table space to anyone and everyone interested in creating and joining the "team." We will have a big work table with sewing machines and clothes and fabric and supplies a-plenty for starting or finishing or doing projects together. Our vision is a store and space that is a true resource for mind, body, and soul. And the waterslide should be super-duper fun!

As Jenni and I have become more and more concerned and motivated to respond personally and affect a greater awareness in the consumer world, this change has been brewing. For us it is pretty exciting, and I'll keep you posted on the progress and throw pictures up from time to time. It also will give us an increased opportunity to find and highlight others from near and far that are doing similar things, and build this community deeper and stronger. We have wild dreams of an upcycling summit on Vashon Island some day. Want to come? We'll save you a spot.

P.S. We aren't really doing a waterslide, but if you ask we can totally throw water on you...


Yeah Yeah Happy New Year to you too!

It's officially the day of declaration.  The time has come to stop or start doing one or many of those things that concern or excite you.  Cliched as they may be, I for one am all for New Year's resolutions.  The demarcation of the day provides a simple opportunity to reevaluate and gear up for some sort of change.  I offer three of mine and invite any to share them with me, but certainly ask all to encourage and push me toward their fulfillment.

  1. I resolve to aggressively increase my knowledge and understanding to consciously live in a way that through every purchase and all consumption I will not cause or sustain misery and suffering on anyone. 
  2. I resolve that by June 1st we will either be in formal partnership with an existing non-profit organization engaged in textile reform, or will be in the process of beginning one. 
  3. I resolve by the end of September to be part of an established upcycled clothing manufacturing link from Haiti to Vashon where Pepe (second hand clothing) is transformed from a debilitating burden to a resource that produces high value ready to wear clothing for the U.S. market.
These three concepts will drive much of the content of the posts to come this year.  I ask any and all to aid in these pursuits, even if it's taking the lead and letting us follow.  I would love to know your resolutions and share the opportunity to encourage one another in pursuing change and a better world.

Please let's make this a year that we and all work together selflessly, equitably and effectively.