Why so much merch?

Why so much merch?

by Charli Cox

From time to time, we like to imagine an ideal world. It’s important to first consider what you want for the world before you can start taking action towards it. One hope that comes up time and time again is that people could be motivated to give without receiving anything in return. These people already exist and we love them for it – they give simply because it is the right thing to do. With 28,000 registered charities in New Zealand alone, there is no shortage of worthy causes to give to, so why do we wait until there’s something to gain to make a donation?

The nature of Koha Apparels services means we are always keeping a critical eye on the fast fashion industry and noticing the countless examples of green-washing and bogus sustainability claims. Companies are skilled at adopting the latest social trends in order to sell more whilst not sacrificing any of their profits. Thankfully, more and more humans are becoming attuned to this trickery and doing their own research to find out who genuinely has our planet in mind. More and more small-time brands are popping up, brands that have a genuine passion for sustainable practices and are drawing up the blueprints for how a circular fashion industry could legitimately function. However, the overwhelming problem continues to be the perceived need for more clothing production at all – and more recently – the approach of selling apparel in order to raise money for epic causes.

I’m sure we’ve all seen it, fundraisers based solely around selling limited edition apparel in support of a worthy cause. You get a brand-new tee, the opportunity to rep your cause out in the street, and a feeling of satisfaction knowing the profits went straight to supporting the penguins. The onus doesn’t so much fall on the organisation seeking funds, but on the growing expectation within society that we be rewarded for our generosity.

Everything is becoming transactional, and as with most things that operate within a capitalist framework, someone is getting fucked over because of it. The cheap tee’s the organisation used for printing (only so they could maximise much needed donations) were made my someone, and the cheaper the tee, the worse the life of that person likely is. Can we really let ourselves feel good about something when its impact has far-reaching repercussions, albeit out of our immediate line of sight? What if we all regularly donated (if means allow) without the expectation of anything in return? Maybe then, our already under-resourced charities wouldn’t have to run fundraisers to capture our attention.

We must always be mindful of how our world intersects, how interconnected we all are. All of our decisions have far-reaching consequences we couldn’t even imagine, but when we can clearly see the impact of our choices, we must act to ensure they cause no harm. We have to come up with solutions that don’t just breed more problems or shift the consequences onto someone who doesn’t have the ability to speak up. As a society, we must reclaim our giving spirit and learn that not every act of goodness deserves a reward. It might sound like an ideal world, but it’s the kind of world we want to live in!!!