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Monday, July 02, 2007

Airing the "Dirty" Laundry

I remember growing up in the 1950s and 60s, and I swear, every piece of clothing I put on my skinny body (except the Clancy Brothers' Aran Sweaters] had a "Made in U.S.A." label attached.

Below, the Freyne once-dirty laundry - all clean after our visit to Greer's Laundromat. Yes, indeed, a good feeling - clean clothes.

But the pre-seatbelt, pre-cell phone, pre-Internet, smoking-is-good-for-you 1950s and 60s are a distant memory in more ways than one. I went through the clean-clothes stack one-by-one.

The clothes you see at right, including  "American" brands like Dockers, Lee and Nautica were, according to their labels, made in:

Laundry_2 China
Sri Lanka
Dominican Republic

Not one, repeat, NOT ONE, was "Made in U.S.A."

Of course, there is an alternative: public nudity.



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Finally - a rational explaination of the sudden onset of public nudity in Brattleghetto.


Anither alternative -- buy clothes from "American Apparel" -- made in USA, in what the company claims is a "sweatshop-free" and environmentally friendly manner. They say the workers receive a higher wage than others in the clothing industry, with full benefits. While there have been challenges to the company's claims in some progressive press, and at least one claim of union-busting (a claim that the company denies), it is certainly a way to avoid buying clothing made in the third world by big multinationals under suspect conditions. They have a shop in downtown Burlington.

And there are, of course, Vermont clothing makers - Johnson Woolen Mills, Beagle Outer Wear, Vermont Flannel Co all come to mind, as well as countless small artisan and designer clothing producers -- you pay a little more, but the money goes back into our communities. Maybe in additional to "Eat Local" we need a "Wear Local" campaign.

Of course, public nudity has some positive points too... at least in the summer.


Stupid American culture at its best. Too many people embracing Wal-Mart and then wondering why their friend or family member's textile job is now set up in China, or India or etc..etc.. And you could apply a host of other words in place of "textile" in that sentence and it would still be, unfortunately, correct. Time to begin worshiping at the church of the Rev. Bill (

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