Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Aung Lin-Blog #1-Week #1 Be Green Challenge

Aung Lin
Be Green Challenge
Blog #1
When professor Valverde gave the instructions for this be green challenge, I knew it was going to be a piece of cake because I hate shopping except grocery shopping. My mom buys all of my clothes and I have never spent a penny on clothes. Also my parents buy all of my school supplies as well. I hope the rest of the class can survive this four week torture. Week three of this challenge would be hard since the black Friday is during that week. Professor mentioned in class that if I want to buy clothes during these four weeks, I must shop at second hand stores like Goodwill. I was curious about Goodwill because I only heard of it and never once shop there so I did my research online about that store. I visited and found out that Goodwill stores items are actually donated by people. I always thought things that they sell in their stores are bought from people but I was wrong. Also I learned that Goodwill help people get jobs and I have never heard of that. Another interesting thing I learned is that when you donate something to Goodwill, you will receive a receipt from one of their employee and you can use that receipt to claim a tax deduction for clothing and items you donated that are in good conditions. So I was thinking people get paid for donating clothes to Goodwill and they didn’t exactly took these items for free.
People Donating at Goodwill 

Taxes and Your Donations 

After I read Holstein’s article “Santa’s Sweatshop” under week 6 reading, I learned things I never once heard of. For example I learned that Reebok used to make their soccer balls using child labor. I always thought sweatshops only used adult labor. This is pretty shocking and I can’t believe companies like Reebok would use poor innocent children from developing countries to make profit. I grew up in Burma and after I read the Holstein’s article, I learned that there used to be three Levi jeans factories in Burma. I never once heard of this before and was shocked because I had no clue that a famous American jean company had some sweatshop in my country. One thing I know for sure is that any clothing brand companies would do anything to get cheap labor; usually taking advantage of poor people in developing countries.
            I learned another interesting story after I read The Beautiful Generation chapter 1 under week 6 reading. I learned that famous Asian fashion designers like Vera Wang got their start from their parents. These young Asian American fashion designers used to play with their moms’ or dads’ leftover materials and learned how to make clothes. Also they all rented spaces in cheap part of NYC to get started on their businesses. There are successes and failures. Designers like Vera Wang became famous but there are some who had to close their doors. I always thought fashion designers learned how to make clothes by going to fashion schools but instead I learned that their parents are their real teachers.

            I felt very sad after I watched “Made in LA” in class because I didn't know that Forever 21 would do such a thing like this to their garment workers. These Mexican women garment workers got bullied because of their social status in America and it was the perfect opportunity for Forever 21. One of the Forever 21 boss went way too far when he spat on the Mexican lady the day he fired her and she was humiliated and devastated. All these workers were brave and protested because Forever 21 didn't pay them minimum wage, overtime wage or respect. If I were in their shoes I would never have the courage to do that.  In the end, I’m so glad that the workers and Forever 21 negotiated after three years fighting. 

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