Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Good Necklace

I am tired of posting about my ailments! We may come back to them, we may not (and won't everyone be relieved if we don't?)

To enliven things around here, I have an interesting post originally published at Textiles and Bicycles, by the lovely Monica Bansal. She is a knitter, sewer, Iyengar yoga practitioner, and really passionate about doing what's right in the world. At some point, don't we as the yoga community (and indeed as humans) all need to think more about our influence on the world?

This is what Monica says in the intro to her blog:

Here I share my projects, thoughts, and rants on two of my greatest interests: art & craft and urbanism. Both are intertwined by underlying principles of environmentalism and respect for life–in all forms.

I knit and sew because it’s amazing. It’s fulfilling. It makes me a part of the group of people I respect the most: the artisan, the maker of the necessary.

I ride my bicycle everywhere because it’s fast, healthy, and it hurts no one (except possible me) by doing so.

I feel really strongly about these two aspects of my life because they carry with them ideas that have the potential to transform our culture with a real ethical shift: buy less and make more, drive less and bike (or walk) more, waste less and share more, sit less and move more, and this could go on (and will)….

I enjoy the rigour of her thinking and she gave me permission to share this with you:

I like the idea of seeing something in a catalogue and figuring out how to make it instead of buying the thing, which in this case is almost definitely made in China. The China thing is even more important to me these days as the Chinese government trashes the Dalai Lama. It seems shocking that this would be an advisable political move for them considering the worldwide, deserved adoration for him, but apparently invoking the strong nationalist identity of the Chinese is working among the domestic populace and they do in fact seem to agree with the government. That a group of people can be condemned for peaceful protest in the face of persistent human rights abuses against them is something I simply cannot understand.

Unfortunately as a normal American without much political power my identity is little more than consumer, so the power of the purse will be my vehicle for expressing myself.

I have never really made a “nice” necklace so this kind of proves it’s more possible for most (if not all) of us to substitute our ready-made purchases with home- and handmade stuff (not to mention I saved more than $50). And I learned from a coworker the other day that fabrics sold in the US are almost always made in the US because of tariff laws, which do not apply to ready-made clothing. I haven’t checked this statement out, but it sounds like I’ll be sewing a lot more than I have been.

The necklace in question? See it here.

Edited: The China/Dalai Lama issue? IF you feel strongly, add your name to the growing list of objectors here.

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