Open post

Easy For Me

published in Fashion Revolution Fanzine #001: Money, Fashion, Power
part of The Price of Our Clothes

 

To take
my brown Gap
corduroys, cheap,
made in Bangladesh,
knees faded,
to Goodwill where
someone will throw
them into a bin
to sell to a textile
recycling center

where, deemed
better than a rag
or landfill garbage,
my corduroys
will top off a ton
of Ralph Lauren,
Old Navy,
countless other
American brand
frayed shirts,
overstretched
pullovers, worn-
thin dresses,
will sail to Cameroon

to become part
of a one hundred pound
bale worth
a month of meals
for five in Cameroon.
My corduroys will be resold
to a customer in the capital
for much less
than a hand-batiked
cotton Kabba,
or any other apparel
made by a Cameroonian,
will keep this African
country’s own
garment makers
unemployed.
Easy.

Open post

Yellow Pants

part of  The Price of Our Clothes

 

My favorite pants, less than an ounce of pale mango cotton,
elastic banded, pocketless, perfect with any top,

could have been seamed by the millions in factories run by:
why are there only eighty, like yesterday, when today’s target is one hundred twenty;

or could have been meadow of mustard bloom yellow trousers
made with sums gleaned from years of labor each worker lost when nine floors fell.

But my favorite pants have no unreachable quota to meet, require no less-than-living-wage,
no rolling floors, pillars and beams crushing his head, his hand, her legs, her back.

Makers of these yellow pants sew
on machines bought with permanent injuries,

open windows and doors that let in the sun
on eight-hour days with breaks, know

any mistake is correctable by workers who own
their own factory, make yellow leggings

like pencils with wings that write New Life
over concrete, twisted metal, bone.

 

—for the survivors of Rana Plaza who own and work in the New Life garment factory,
Savar, Bangladesh, and made my yellow pants.

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