Monday, January 09, 2006

Look for the Union Label

I started off reasonably well--I reviewed a spreadsheet detailing my pay for last year (hey, only about $15k less than I should have received), took the needlepoint off to get it blocked, went to a yoga class, and returned some jeans to the Levi's store (I'll get back to that in a minute). I'm also supposed to have done my laundry and made something with the cauliflower sitting in the fridge, not least so I have something to take for lunch this week, but MDD got hold of me. I'll motivate sooner or later, I suppose, just not yet.

Anyway, I bought the jeans online, at Levi's online store, and I thought I was getting basic denim 501s, on sale for <$30/pair. Silly me. The ones I received, in a color called "custom," or something like that, were pre-worn-out, complete with patched holes and frayed hems in the back and so on. (They were also a size too big, I think.) And you know, that's just wrong, on so many levels. In general, I prefer to break in and wear out my own jeans, thanks so very much. I'll make an exception for something you get in a thrift shop, but can someone explain what the fuck is the point of the jeans I received? Luckily, there's a store in my city, so I didn't have to mail them back. Then, when I went to exchange them (I hoped for just plain old 501s, in some basic denim, like on the website, also for about $30/pair), it turns out that what I want is actually about $46/pair. Umm, no. There are some other options on the website, but I'll be damned if I can figure out what the colors listed are supposed to be, and the site does a damned poor job of explaining. How very annoying, on top of the fact that Levi's closed their last U.S. plant. Union Jean Company features American- (and union-) made clothing, so maybe I'll get a pair from them and see how they fit.

Yes, folks, I prefer American-made clothing, and, even more, union-made, but those things are getting harder to find, especially as everyone wants the bargains they think they're getting by shopping at Wal-Mart. I won't bore you with my anti-Wal-Mart rant; suffice it to say that it's pretty much the same rant as everyone else's. I'm not as consistent about buying American-made stuff as I'd like to be, but I'm pretty damned consistent about avoiding Wal-Mart. I don't impose that choice on others, though I will, if given an opportunity, try to explain that it is not in one's best interests to shop there, even if one appears to be saving money in the short term.


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