The re-opening of big stores and shopping centres across the country this week has seen a frantic scramble, spurring thoughts on the sustainability of the fast fashion industry and the role consumerism plays in our lives. Its role in the lives of others, in a far distant reality, is a particular issue we rarely give a thought to.
Workers in sweatshops that make the €2 tops and socks we buy in bulk from fast fashion retailers are paid a pittance and work in inhumane conditions.
Land-filling and incineration of unused clothes at the end of the supply chain has deeply adverse effects on the environment of those most vulnerable, in developing and Third World countries.
The use of toxic chemicals and microfibres is causing mass contamination of rivers and oceans, again, in areas most vulnerable. The exploitation of animals for their skin and hair is a problem not many think of when making their purchases in high street stores.
The list of impacts is endless but the problem at its core is the disconnect in the minds of consumers between where your clothes come from and where they end up.
They are made in Bangladesh, Vietnam, India, China and so on, by normal people, usually young women trying to provide for their families by withstanding harsh and unfair conditions for near to no pay.
They are made from finite resources that will eventually run out and leave the environment in tatters.
And so I would like to pose these questions to frequent shoppers: Is it worth it? Do you think about where it comes from when you’re buying something you “cannot live without”?
Voters elected Fianna Fáil TDs – not misogynists
Regarding Seamus O Mathuna’s recent letter attacking Fianna Fáil as “misogynists” (‘Fianna Fáil back in power terrible news for women’, June 17), it’s worth pointing out it was the voters’ decision (and approximately half the electorate are women), not Fianna Fáil’s, to return just five of Fianna Fáil’s female General Election candidates as TDs.
Athboy, Co Meath
More transparency needed to prevent political dynasties
Nepotism is alive and well in Irish politics (‘Almost one in seven TDs hired family as assistants’, Irish Independent, June 23) with TDs and their families grabbing as much income from the State for their political dynasties as they can. Without shame or conscience they see this as their right.
Is there not a need for more transparency around the incomes of TDs and their families? Should we have a Dáil committee to look into this?
Dromahair, Co Leitrim
Rotating Taoisigh add spin to Mad Hatters’ atmosphere
The more I think about government formation probabilities, 140-plus days after the General Election, the more my mind is brought to think of the possibilities of rotating Taoisigh offering new opportunities for political spinning, the likes of which we have never seen before in our republic.
Will we have rotating Taoisigh and spinning Tánaistí – it’s all very ‘Alice in Wonderland’ with the Mad Hatters and hurlers on the ditches putting their oar in whilst the Queen of Hearts yells “off with his head” and “off with their heads” from the opposition benches on the sidelines.
Maybe the new coalition government born out of the ending of the Civil War politics and an attempt to Green the political landscape in this Covidean epoch will tame the viral Jabberwocky of our times.
Curious political times lie ahead, which will only become curiouser and curiouser.
Trinity College Dublin
Kelly’s statue must stand where the legend belonged
Despite the repeated vandalism, I feel the statue of Luke Kelly should be left were it is because that area is Luke – not North Strand or Fairview or the city centre.
The legend that is Luke Kelly will long outlive the feeble-minded idiots seeking their moment of glory. Knowing the good people of the area, I get the feeling that the moment will be very short-lived.
RTÉ is providing comic relief on coalition’s big night
On the night the big three – Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party – are due to open the envelope on whether or not they will be going to big school, guess what else is scheduled? RTÉ does ‘Comic Relief’.