First World woman

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Stitch, stitch stitch…
speed is essential,
so First World woman
can wear the right fashion.

Stitch stitch stitch…
my labour is cheap,
so First World woman who buys this creation
will have enough cash
to grab the next fashion.

Stitch, stitch, stitch…
I sew through my hunger,
so First World woman can have many outfits for every occasion,
and each one poised
at the apex of fashion.

Stitch, stitch, stitch…
Soon my babies will labour in sweatshops,
so First World woman can open her wardrobe and hang her new purchase,
pick through her dresses, keep all the best and discard the rest —
last year’s tat and the ones which don’t suit her,
don’t match her eyes, or don’t show her legs —
as it would be shameful to step out in less than
the latest, the brightest,
the hottest new fashion.

Stitch, stitch, stitch…
I’ll work til I drop,
while First World woman
demands better wages for her thirty hours,
so she can buy armfuls of this season’s fashions,
while me and my babies labour and sweat.




– – –

©Jane Paterson Basil


19 thoughts on “First World woman

    1. This one’s for the abused workers. I meant to write a poem for the daily prompt: Polish, but it got me thinking about how we used to polish our shoes every day. We stopped when we:
      A) became wealthier, and
      B) began buying cheap imports…
      We don’t preserve our shoes with polish because plenty of people in ‘developing’ countries are working for slave wages so that we can afford to be wasteful.
      Working in a charity shop makes me very aware of surplus consumerables… I try to buy almost everything from charity shops – particularly Oxfam. Only my underwear is new, and even that comes from Oxfam – we get unsold products donated to us by Marks and Spencer (who make every effort to be an ethical company).
      I’d like all of those greedy companies to be forced to pay decent wages to their workers, and give them safe, decent workplaces.
      Uh oh, I’m ranting… sorry…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I feel exactly the same .. my entire wardrobe is from op shops or donations, even shoes .. haven’t bought new clothing for decades 🙂
        know a relative of a clothing chain store here and I’m wearing our friendship thin banging on about liveable wages and safe workplaces … she has to believe their propaganda as her daughter lives in opulent luxury thanks to these ‘slaves’ 😦

        Liked by 1 person

        1. In your situation I’d find it hard to keep quiet, too.
          I was pretty sure I was preaching to the converted when I sent you that last message – in fact I think we’ve talked about our shopping habits before…

          Liked by 1 person

            1. I like the people who buy lots of things in charity shops, and then re-donate them when they’re bored with them. No waste – and the charity stands to make two sales from one item. And if the stuff is too worn to resell, if goes into the recycling chain (with most products, but not things like china and broken toys).

              Liked by 1 person

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