Blood, Sweat and T-shirts

I was inspired by the recent BBC series “Blood, Sweat and T-shirts,” which I highly recommend everyone check out. It follows the exploration of six young British fashion enthusiasts

Blood, Sweat and T-Shirts

as they’re exposed to the production of their beloved mass-manufactured clothing. The viewer witnesses their emotional transformation from brazen consumerists to social activists as the cast experiences the industry’s harsh reality of non-existent wages, brutal hours, unhealthy conditions, and child labor. Chances are, 90% of those who see the series (I think I’m being generous here) will sympathize and move on, ignoring reality in exchange for synthetic ignorance. And that’s a shame, a truly horrific shame, because nearly every industry that we interact with on a daily basis has their own version of “Blood, Sweat and T-shirts.”

Being in the business of sustainable office supplies, the show led me to thinking about the abuse of natural resources and our environmental impact. With a few quick substitutions, the analogy holds true.

Poor wages = Little investment in preserving resources, leading to a continually degrading system

Long hours = Over-harvesting of natural resources, leading to diminishing quality and extinction

Unhealthy conditions = Outputs like chemicals and toxins entering other systems like water, air, soil food…

Child labor = Exploiting poorly managed resources without attending to its long-term effect

We need more great series like “Blood, Sweat and T-shirts” to keep these issues present and always important in mainstream media. Please check it out, pass it on to a friend, and then tell a stranger. Every impression is a step in the right direction.

I think we can empower and inform others by taking the same concept and applying it everywhere.

How can you apply the analogy to your industry or cause?

Jeff Eyink is the Marketing Manager of Dolphin Blue. He can be reached via email at jeff@dolphinblue.com

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Going vs. Living Green

Have you ever heard someone say “We’re already green”?

Already green? How does someone quantify being completely green? In reality, being green is an unending and constant process of improvement, one that can never be truly finished. So why is it that so many people who are talking about how they’re environmentally minded are opposed to new ways to better themselves? What is it about the process that makes it so easy to cling to the status quo? Is it the cost, the time, the labor…? I think the whole issue of this pushback begins in how we label the process of living more responsibly – GOING GREEN

The main culprit here is the word going. First off, going to do something implies that you’ll be coming back from doing it.

I’m going to the store.

I’m going out to eat.

I’m going to work.

These actions are momentary, and they all result in coming back to where you started once they’re complete.

Going is also temporary, fleeting, easy to push-off, non-committal, and lacks personal accountability.

I’m going to lose weight.

I’m going to quit smoking.

I’m going to drink less.

By pushing these events into the future and away from the present, it becomes easy to forget about them and lose the passion behind why you were dedicated to them in the first place. It’s the “New Year’s Effect” 365 days a year.

Worse of all, these going actions all have finite ends. You expect to start them, finish them, and forget about them. Going doesn’t have a permanent place in your day.

So how does this effect green living? Everyone touts how they’re living responsibly.

I’m going green by recycling.

I’m going green by driving less.

I’m going green by buying organic.

There’s that pesky going word again. The problem here is that just like the earlier examples, going green makes it a whole lot easier to avoid going green. Chances are, for every 10 things you’re going to do, only one of them is done. An environmentally minded lifestyle, however, is a constantly evolving one. Recycling, driving less, and buying organic are all PARTS of the green process, but they are not the end result. It’s never a finished task. It’s not something to simply be done.

What if instead of going green we live green? Think of the power a single word change can make. When we live something, that choice becomes a whole lot more prevalent in our lives. It reminds us of why we’re making the change in the first place. It rekindles the passion. It helps transform our resolutions into more important ones.

I’m going to lose weight.

I’m going to quit smoking.       =     I’m living healthier

I’m going to drink less.

No longer are you measuring your success by pounds, cigarettes, and drinks. By living, you expand your approach and see the many other things you can be doing.

I’m not decrying a war against going green. I’m glad that the concept is so mainstream that we all have an ability to discuss, learn, and grow from it. But we should never hear “No, I’m already green. Been there, done that.” No one has gone green. If they think they have, then we know that they surely haven’t. Instead of going green, let’s try living green and see where that takes us.

How do you think we can keep green mainstream without diluting its impact? Let’s hear your thoughts!

Jeff Eyink is the Marketing Manager of Dolphin Blue. He can be reached via email at jeff@dolphinblue.com

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