No matter how hard we do the burying our heads underneath the sand routine, when it's hitting front page news on your Sunday paper, you really can't avoid. I had been vaguely aware of Arcadia's (umbrella group over Topshop, Topman, Dorothy Perkins, Miss Selfrdige etc) less than savoury workforce policies, with people working for Arcadia telling me of Sir Philip Green's grubby fingered ways of making as much money as possible and it has finally made it to the forefront with news of Sri Lankan, Indian and Bangladeshi workers in Mauritius, getting less than £4 wages a day, 40% below the local wage.
This has been called 'slave labour' by critics and if all of this is true, frankly I'm ashamed and in a little bit of a quandary. To those of you are are a tad more educated on the subject than I am, the previous statement might strike you as ignorant. But there it is, I'm not a crusader and can only really face the situation when confronted by a shocking headline.
I've always been a mixer & matcher when it comes to my wardrobe and no shop is shunned but having successfully not bought anything from Topshop for 3 months in a row a while ago, I know that the Arcadia Avoidance can be done. For me, this isn't just a matter of getting on my high ethical horse, as you very know, I have none of those ethical pretensions. My gripe is that Topshop on the whole is not actually cheap as chips and yes, though I can't fault it design-wise, I can live without it by turning to alternatives, being lucky enough to live in a city where your whole outfit doesn't have to come from Topshop.
So now what? Can I promise a total boycott? Can I go the whole hog and not do the half-hearted pansy thing? We shall see but for now, the key thing I can do is avoidance. This of course brings into question whether I can in all honesty vouch that the rest of my non-Topshop wardrobe is ethically correct. Again, for me, it's a matter of a lack of education. I can only do my best and try.