This week has been very hard trying to refrain from buying anything new, specifically clothing. Passing by the deals in the store windows was especially hard because it featured my favorite piece of clothing and that is outerwear. Some of my favorite brands like the Gap, H & M, and Uniqlo had pretty good sales of its winter ensembles. However, I remembered all of the indignities that many sweatshop workers abroad must go through in order produce these clothes so I can purchase them at low price.
After leaving the mall, I saw that some of my favorite big box stores such as Walmart and Target were opening on Thanksgiving holiday. As a result, many of the workers must be away from their families in order to staff the stores. It upset me that many of these corporations saw the need to open their stores on a national holiday and I’m disappointed that our society permits companies to force their workers to work during a holiday. I decided this year not to take part in Black Friday shopping after reading further articles about store openings on Thanksgiving through my favorite blog (http://gawker.com/walmarts-black-friday-is-now-a-week-long-1657885904). I just don’t feel comfortable in participating in these cruel consumerism times.Moreover, I learned all about the history and the basic textile patterns done by the Hmong people. I really enjoyed this lecture after watching a fellow student’s video blog detailing her jewelry collections containing some of her favorite pieces from her Hmong culture. I liked watching the video that contained animation in the form of textile figures detailing the history of the Hmong people. Seeing the intricate embroidery design served a greater purpose to me because it sparked my interest in Hmong culture. Arriving home after class on Monday, I asked my roommate, Sean, who is Hmong more about his culture and found out many of his back patches were of Hmong inspiration.
I believe that fashion and clothing can function as a great way to start a conversation about culture and provide an opportunity for friends to find out more from each other. I was glad about reading more about the Hmong people through their clothing and asking questions to my roommate about his heritage.
McCall, Ava L.. "Speaking through Cloth: Teaching Hmong History and Culture through Textile Arts." Reader.
"Walmart's "Black Friday" Is Now a Week Long" Gawker