Photo By: Khaled Ghareeb https://unsplash.com/photos/QN507MdnxRQ?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditShareLink
One of the things that make the poor and rich stand out from each other is how they dress. At school there was always that kid showing off with his brand new designer shoes and new clothes; and the kid with hand me downs, worn out and repaired clothes that did not fit well. Just a glance was enough to know who was who.
In Sābanto I use fashion to differentiate the poor from the rich. I use clothes as one of the status symbols because textile manufacturing has a lot of history that is relevant to the Sābanto story.
Let’s take a trip back to the Industrial Revolution (1760-1840). The textile industry is booming and producing clothes on a massive scale. Weaving is improved with the use of a power loom and the cotton gin is cleaning the cotton fibers; all to speed up the process of production.
Humanity is making progress!
Under all that triumph of the human mind there were people that worked long hours in terrible conditions. The families were torn apart where men and women migrated to cities to work in the factories under hard conditions and often risking their lives. Kids that were employed for their small hands lost fingers or whole arms while fixing the looms. Many of them were pulled into the machines and killed. The lost and broken lives were the cost of progress.
Today there are unions and safety codes that help maintain safe conditions in factories in first world countries. That is not the case however in the developing world. Sweatshops continue to exist and are common in many parts of the world. The clothes we are buying might be made by underpaid workers working extremely long hours. Many women work in these factories and the low pay is often a reason they are unable to get out of poverty. Expensive fashion companies use that labour to increase their own profit, thus the rich are continuing to exploit the poor.
I want Sābanto readers to stop and reflect before they chase another fashion craze or admire someone for their designer clothes. In order to change this system we should start from ourselves.