Posts with Category Engaged Consumer

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Scotty's Brewhouse (my fave restaurant) spoofs the Social Network

You can’t make 500 million dill chips without making a few hamburgers with peanut butter.

Scott Wise, owner of Scotty’s Brewhouse and Ball State Alum, has embraced all that is social networking (Twitter, Foursquare, Facebook). So with the release of the Social Network movie Scotty’s did a spoof.

It’s well done. Just like I like my Shewman Special, a hamburger with jalapenos, peanut butter, and bacon.


Follow Scotty’s on Twitter

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"Shirt" by Robert Pinsky


Don’t tell me you don’t like poetry. Not liking poetry is like saying you don’t like beer. There are so many different flavors of each that there is one out there for everybody.

No talk of the American garment industry can avoid the tragedy of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in NYC in 1911. I’ve read about the tragedy in countless books, but none of them paint the tragedy with more humanity than Robert Pinsky in his poem “Shirt.” I appreciate poetry more when it’s read aloud, so give this a listen. The poem begins at 2:49, but his comments before will be of interest to any engaged consumer.

Here’s a short passage to show you the powerful words within. Drink it up.

At the Triangle Factory in nineteen-eleven.

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How I get books

Where do you buy your books? Where should you buy your books?

Since I became an author, and learned a little bit about the publishing industry, these are questions on my mind when I need or want a book.

Without consciously doing it, I’ve developed my own book buying strategy.

Let’s look at my options.

The Chain

In Muncie we have a Books-A-Million, which never seems to have any of the books that I want, and when they do, the price is high unless you are a member of their club that costs $25/year. And the staff, if they are book lovers, do one heckuva job of hiding it. I don’t have a whole lot of loyalty to the store. Part of the inspiration for my Book Signing vs….

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SoleRebels at the Clinton Global Initiative

Bethlehem Tilahun the founder of SoleRebels the shoe company I profiled in a recent piece for the World Vision Report recently spoke at the Clinton Global Initiative.

How cool is that?

I believe that SoleRebels is a perfect example of how the apparel industry can be an important tool in lifting people in places like Ethiopia out of poverty.

I spent hours with Bethlehem in her factory and I still am amazed at how a flat tire on the side of the road in Addis Ababa is fashioned into a shoe and sold on Amazon.

Bethlehem starts speaking at around the 13-minute mark.

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To the Art of the Matter at MRHS

I had a grand ‘ol time speaking with students at Marvin Ridge High School today south of Charlotte.

Where Am I Wearing? was selected for their community reading program and a good portion of today was dedicated to exploring the subjects I write about in the book.

They kicked off the day with a screening of the documentary China Blue which follows a few factory girls at a factory in China. The film had some amazing scenes and I’m so jealous of the access the crew got into the factory. The owner of the factory was kind enough to go on camera time and time again and hang himself, saying things like, “The workers are simple-minded farmers, living 20 years behind. They aren’t smart enough to have…

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SoleRebels piece on the World Vision Report


Some folks believe that the apparel industry somehow is part of the problem when it comes to global poverty. To me giving someone a job and dignity is one of the best ways to fight poverty. I’ve yet to come across a better example of this than the shoe company SoleRebels in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

SoleRebels’ employees are paid about 300% more than other such workers in Ethiopia. All of the products that go into making a SoleRebels shoe are within a 60 mile radius of the city. As Bethlehem, the founder of SoleRebels, says, “We are green by heritage.”

The piece airs on loads of radio stations across the country this week. It’s my first full…

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5 reasons American Apparel is on "path to Hell"

“Dov Charney is at the moment of truth,” said Howard Davidowitz, chairman of Davidowitz & Associates Inc., a national retail consulting and investment banking firm based in New York City. “And all roads for him lead to hell. He’s got to pick the best of the worst choices.”

From the Financial Post story American Apparel a hipster darling no more as bankruptcy looms

Dov Charney is the controversial CEO of American Apparel, the US’s largest remaining apparel manufacturer. Dov is reportedly very hands on when it comes to clothes and, reportedly his female workers. I write about AA in Where Am I Wearing? as an option for engaged consumers who are looking to support American-made products.

But recently the company’s stock has fallen lower than the necklines…

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Change your underwear, change the world

PACT organic cotton underwear_1270139294088

Are you a fan of saving the world and wearing underwear? How about rock climbing in just underwear (see above) or playing tennis in just underwear or climbing a tree in just underwear or posing like Russian acrobats in just underwear?

The folks at PACT Underwear hope so. Go to PACTs homepage and hit refresh to see all of the outdoor things you can do in your underwear. (Not pictured: getting arrested for indecent exposure.)

PACT on PACT (you should check out their ingredients page):

PACT’s motto is CHANGE STARTS WITH YOUR UNDERWEAR. The purchase of PACT underwear is participation in a social movement: when you buy PACT underwear, you are supporting and…

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In which Kelsey uncovers a sweatshop in Indiana


Like garment workers everywhere, they are girls in their 20s. They look tired. They walked to work. They live on Ramen noodles.

They look to the future and hope that they’ll find better jobs because this job is the worst paying job a girl can have. They get paid nothing. In fact, they pay to have this job.

IMG_0501Such is life for college students at Ball State’s Fashion and Design manufacturing class. I had the pleasure of speaking with the girls today about the other garment workers I met around the world.

The students are working on a really interesting project. Each year professor Paula Sampson has her…

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