Still banging on...

I'm rapidly approaching the end of my 3 months shopping ban... and beginning to plan what I'm going to need on April 10th. Top of the list are tights, a new bra, and a pair of jeans. I've already committed to only buying fair trade or second hand till the end of the year, and as I was logging into my email this morning Yahoo reminded me once again why ethical shopping is so important - our clothes can literally cause the suffering of others!

One of the main responses people are having to the second phase of my consumption and bal taschit experiment is 'but it's so expensive'. I'm not convinced it has to be so, particularly with charity shops and second hand availability on ebay, which I think I'll be relying on massively for the rest of the year. I appreciate those on lower incomes will find fair trade and organic purchasing challenging, but the majority of consumers in the UK can afford to make the change, particularly if they prioritise what they really need over purchases made for an emotional lift or because they need the latest fashion fix.

Ultimately however, for me now it has to be about whether the world can afford for us to continue as we are.  I've proved to myself I can buy considerably less, so now it will be about prioritising purchases so that I can afford to make the right choices. Rather than buying 4 tops in Primark that will fall apart within 6 months (I once found a hole in my top shortly before a shabbat service... not what you want!) I'll buy one fairtrade cotton top in MnS that will last two years or more. Disposable cheap fashion is a false economy, and people's lives have to be worth more than jeans. When it comes to Yom Kippur I want to be sure that my simple pleasures haven't caused the suffering of others.


  1. Well said, Rabbi! I think we all need to make a conscious decision not to distance ourselves from our resistibility to care for one another, be it through our buying choices or other ethical dilemmas.



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